My nine year-old is a smart boy. He loves to read and write. He is a fantastic artist. He watches videos on cartooning on the internet and replicates the drawing exactly. He scored a perfect score on the language portion of our state standardized test, this past fall. But, to him, school is something that he has to do. Homework is something that he has to do before he can do what he would like to do.
We are constantly telling him to slow down on his work, and do his personal best on every assignment. But, I think it frustrates him to have to move slowly. We got his most recent report card, and he has decent grades. But, there is room for improvement, and it is not because he doesn’t know what he is doing, but it is because he rushes through. His handwriting grade, his math grade, his health grade, all could be better, if he slowed down, read the directions, and took the time to give a complete and correct answer.
As evidenced by his state test score, he can write well. He can write very well. But he often writes too quickly and without reading the complete instructions. When I talked with him about the fact that if he slowed down, ALL of his grades would improve, and especially his handwriting grade, his response was “But, mom, when I write, I have so many good ideas in my head, that I need to write quickly so that I can get them all out and not forget them.”
He might be right, but sometimes he makes excuses. I talked about writing all his ideas down quickly before he starts the assignment, so he won’t forget those good ideas. I talked about taking the time to check his math problems. I talked about making sure he has really read the directions. But, I think that all this talking might just be going in one ear and out the other. I think this tends to be a boy thing, especially for our brighter boys. My best friend’s son, although a little more conscientious than my own, was disappointed with a grade on his report card, because he too, rushes through work that he finds easy.
So, what is the answer? Anyone have any good tips on convincing boys to slow down and take pride in their work? I would love to say that the school should be making adjustments for these bright kids, but they do. And no matter how accelerated the work might be, they still, at some point, need to understand the important of slowing down. Or do they?
by In The Fast Lane