Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Flip Flop Competitiveness

Here's the dichotomy.

On the one hand, I really think its a sad situation when pre-schoolers need to go for tuition classes so that they can get straight 'As' in their report cards. They have their whole lives to set goals, compete and feel the pressure. They don't need to know about it when they're five years old.

On the other hand, I am secretly carrying all the goals, competitiveness and pressure around for my nearly five year old. I'm like all other mothers - my son is intelligent, he has potential, blah blah blah.

So, recently, I had my very first parent/teacher interview where they gave me a copy of his report card. It was broken down into sections for social, life, language and numeracy skills. There were wonderful comments about him in all the sections. On top of that, the language and numeracy sections were graded.

This is where the 'two hands' I mention above come in. Hand 1 - Yay! They don't actually give ABCs. Its just 'Introduced', 'Supported' and 'Mastered'. So for language, Aaron got a 'Mastered'. GREAT! But for numeracy, 'Supported'. *gasp* OK...I want those ABCs back. Where does 'Supported' put him? A-? B+? Hand 2 - Gimme back the old style grades. Do they do Bell curves in pre-school?

Yes, I was a bit crazy and went a bit overboard thinking all that but I've since calmed down. The point I want to make here is that the teacher was very encouraging and had such lovely things to say about Aaron, yet, I was so hung up on why he didn't get a 'Mastered' for numbers. (He's great with them!) I kept wanting to go back to the specifics of what he needed to master. I still can't figure it out because its the non abstract part of numbers that he needs help with which is completely confusing me because I obviously taught him all he needed to know about the abstract part. It looks like I haven't mastered non-abstract either - whatever that is.

Yes, I will be doing more number work with him. No, I have not read Amy Chua's book about Tiger Moms and have no intention of doing so. Its a competitive world. I'm a naturally competitive person. I will try to disguise my competitiveness when I ramp up my play with numbers and Aaron.


Mike said...

If Aaron needs any numbers I've got a few extra I can send him.

Bilbo said...

Aaron's Uncle Bilbo has a 59-year record of being lousy with numbers, and he's still alive and thriving. If Aaron can learn to balance his checkbook, see through the budgetary smoke and mirrors politicians will always try to fool him with, and remember the really important numbers like birthdays and anniversaries, he'll do fine. And don't, for Pete's sake, turn into one of those god-awful tiger moms! Life's tough enough!

Amanda said...

Mike - The only problem is that your number must be one of the most "abstract" numbers.

Bilbo - No No No....I have no intention of being a tiger mom. Leave me a comment if you see me morphing that way.