Friday, October 22, 2010

What's in a grade?

Mic. 7: 4 The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.
Well the other day report cards came out. Believe it or not this is the third one since August 16th.  I was reminded of how, in my day, (didn’t you always hate hearing those words, in my day? Now I’m one of them.) a report card came three times a year? December, March and our final one in June.

Now I don’t get grades on my writing, but if I got a report card, it would scare me I imagine, as it scares kids when they don’t know what will be on that report card. Writers want to hear good things about themselves and again, I think kids do too.

I home schooled my son all his life so this report card thing was new to me. A government run school system grading my child and taking matters in their hands as to what is best for him, that scares the beejeebies out of me. I don’t trust very easily, and with each report card, I see why.

My neighbor kid told me he passed last year with straight C’s. I said, "well that’s not good." He went on to tell me he already knew everything so school was stupid anyway.
A ‘C’ to me was a 70 average.

My son this week, received an Ace Award for his excellence in Art. He loves art, excels at the class and was honored to receive such acclamations from his teacher. Kids love praise, there’s a no brainer. At the parent/teacher meeting he got all excellent reviews on how mannerly, responsible, respectable and how he’s an all around great kid.

Grades...they numb the child. Never having been in school in his life, the past three months have been challenging to him to say the least and I see him growing with each obstacle. I am not the kind of parent who needs to have an over achiever in my family so I look good. I am happy because my child is happy. Parents will agree, they want nothing more for their child than to be happy.

The grading system in my brain: 95-100 ‘A+’, 90- 94 ‘A’, 85-89 ‘B+, 80-84 ‘B’, 75-79  ‘C+’, 70-74 ‘C’. So when my son’s report card came in the mail, and I see a straight line of eighties, I’m happy! Only to find that the schools grading system has the letters listed as C’s and C+'s. ???? I don’t understand. Now I'm discouraged!

I remember years ago, they said they were going to do away with the Alpha system because it put pressure on the kid. It made them feel incompetent in places that they knew they did their best. Isn’t doing their BEST, what it’s all about? To me it is and it is acceptable. I EXPECT NOTHING MORE!!!

While parents and school systems push their children into athletics and over-achieving, I am happy my child, taken from a home based school system being thrust into an extremely difficult society of, sex driven over achievers, he is doing his best and I am a proud mother.

You want more from my child? When you get blood out of a turnip!


Ro said...

Huh? 80 is a B. What planet are they on??? My best friend is at the university and there, 80 is a B. Huh? Yikes, I don't envy you in this transition. How's he doing with everything?

joni said...

Thanks Ro,
I thought maybe I was just over reacting as a mother or something here, this being new to me too.
To SC, Adam can do better, to ME, the kid is soaring! He has straight eighties! Except Algebra but even that went from a thirty eight to a sixty eight, but still an F in the schools eyes.
I think I get caught up with what 'other mothers' expect, and 'other kids' do. And what 'other people' will think, blah blah blah.

But I've had a few days, Adam won an ACE award for EXCELLENCE in Art! The kid excels in all the artistic courses, even in Spanish!
But placing a C+ in history and Science, is not the same as the motivational booster of a B.

So in my eyes, he's a straight B student!!! :)