ALLOWING THE STRUGGLE

Laura Sandefer

November 19, 2012

One of my children hates to struggle with learning. He likes things to come easily to him. Learning is a joy for him until he hits a concept or a problem that requires great effort and quantities of trial and error. His confidence stagnates and I suddenly hear the pencil slam and the “I hate math” or “this is so boring” mantra begin.

I have learned over the years that these words really mean, “I’m so frustrated because I don’t understand” or “I wish I could do this! Can someone help me?”

The article below sent to me by Caleb’s mom, Jennifer, reminds me to pull from the best of western and eastern cultures. I want to celebrate my children’s struggles with learning as often as I celebrate their creative and indepedent innovation.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/11/12/164793058/struggle-for-smarts-how-eastern-and-western-cultures-tackle-learning?sc=tw

At Acton we incorporate discussions of “panic zones” and “challenge zones” almost every day so that students become familiar with the idea of struggling and self-managing in order to achieve their SMART goals.

We look forward to your portfolio review time so that you feel fully armed with the best information about your child’s achievements and struggles – both to be celebrated.

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Middle School is where young people rapidly start owning their education. Middle school is the perfect time to develop intellect and character while gaining a deeper sense of self and the real world. Students have a broad palette of topics to study and pair in-depth academic exploration with real-world connections to experts and local apprenticeships. Middle School is about deepening a passion for individual subjects while broadening your understanding of yourself and your future.