I was reading an article last week that was written by a child psychologist that specializes in education based situations with children. He was talking about how he believed that it is wrong to reward or punish school performance. Instantly my back went up because this went against my thinking at that time. As I read on I found that this man had a genius idea but I’ve been thinking about how to apply it to homeschool grades.
This professionals stated that statistically most students went through a preteen phase where their grades would fall slightly. The idea is that you don’t punish this but that you use psychology for the answer. The psychologist refers to the fact that in early grade school when a parent shows up at school the child is thrilled to see their parents. But as a student gets closer to high school friends become the focus and so does the students social status. Parents showing up at school is not a good thing to most middle school and junior high students.
The psychologist recommends that a parent get down to business and become present at the school until grades come up. He does not mean to camp there but to go in a few times a week to check in with the teacher and see how things are going. My first thought was that when I was ages 12 to 18 I would have brought my grades right up to avoid anymore parental involvement. I thought this man was a genius! But I homeschool my kids so how can I implement such psychology and not resort to the reward and punish theory?
Because my kids and I are part of the local school district I have a teacher that I consult with. One idea I had was that I can have actual sit down meetings with my child and the teacher should this become an issue. Then the student is not just accountable to themselves or me but also to someone who cares but is often in the shadows. This puts the accountability right up front and in their face. I have been lucky to not have this problem so far but as my oldest son turns 13 I am hoping to be prepared with some method of handling such problems so that I am not completely at a loss.