Hello! I come seeking advice from my dearest devoted followers!
In my household, I have tried to never place emphasis on actual academic success via the public school grading system. I am really only familiar with the way Georgia handles things. Georgia receives extra money, or adequate moneys, based on standardized test scores. So the public schools in Georgia strongly encourage students to do well on standardized tests. To the point of freaking the children out about failing their actual grade level if their test scores are not up to par. My children have been blessed with enough innate brain activity to easily pass the standardized tests without difficulty. However, the hyper-pressurized situation with the school’s approach to testing still has caused unnecessary stress on my children. I try to alleviate that, but apparently am only somewhat successful.
In our home, the approach I use toward school work and grading is this: If you complete all of the assignments that your teachers give to you, then whatever grades are the result will always be acceptable. The children will never be punished or lectured or disgraced in any way for making less than A’s in any class as long as the assignments have been handed in. My children receive a minimal punishment as an incentive to always turn in their work. I feel that we are very liberal with our children’s access to electronic entertainment. They are allowed nearly unlimited playtime on any electronics they choose as long as their school work is complete. Computer time, hand-held console time, television viewing time, larger console time; whatever they like to play or watch is allowed for all of their after-school time as long as homework is finished. If they receive a Zero, a score for an assignment not handed in, they receive one day of complete electronics restriction. During that day, they must complete the assignment they missed and turn it in at school the next school day. One day of restriction for each Zero received.
At least 90% of the time, they score a passing mark on any assignment they actually complete. I have never worried about the grades they receive. They are intelligent and our school system is a low ranked one. There is so little chance that they will do poorly in a class due to not understanding the material as to say that it is virtually impossible.
My daughter (and my son actually) is in advanced level classes for her grade. In her Math class she is actually working at an accelerated level which is considered above the advanced level. I have never placed emphasis on grades. Only on work completion. And yet, she is extremely stressed about school. She feels such school pressure that it is contributing to her desire to self-harm. I suspect she is a “type A” personality. A person who seems to be driven extra hard from within to succeed at a higher level than average people.
I need help in reducing her pressure. I need help in convincing her that her accomplishments are enough and wonderful and more than satisfactory already. I need help relieving her innate need to drive herself academically to the point that it is endangering her health. What am I doing wrong?
I know some of my followers are students. I know many of my followers are past students. I need advice from you all in helping my daughter feel less academic stress. I thought that I was not putting undue pressure on her. but maybe I am. And I know she is putting undue pressure on herself. I would like her to feel less intense about school while still feeling motivated to succeed at her own best level.
Please. Everyone who reads this, feel free to offer me any words of advice. I will read and take into consideration every response. Do not think that your particular thoughts will be unhelpful. Every single experience that you have had is different than my own, and so may help me find a point of connection with my daughter that I am currently not having.
Thank you so much!