Our son started to struggle at school in grade 2. The local public school felt that his struggles at reading and writing were the result of pressuring high achieving parents and perhaps if we relaxed, his learning would come along just fine. However, the academic timeline puts children into grades. Achievement and self-esteem do matter. Therefore we took matters into our own hands and had a private psychological assessment done. The conclusion was he had several learning disabilities as well as attention deficit. According to the assessment, not the teacher,
at the end of grade 2 he was already 2 grades behind, and the school had no plan to help him catch up in the missing skills; all they could provide was a 40 minute group remedial class a few times a week.
We decided to send him to private school where he would have a small class, no behavioral distractions and a structured curriculum. Reasonable daily homework was part of the daily expectations from grade 3 to grade 8. The teacher marked it, and it was always accounted for. Assignments were corrected, and corrections mattered, so incorrect ways of doing things were never allowed to continue.
What was the value of this structure you may wonder? The resounding answer is discipline, the ability to set priorities and complete tasks; the old-fashioned notion that work comes before play and that true success is earned at the end of a job done well.
These steady work habits slipped somewhat when he reentered public high school at grade 9 due to the inconsistency of the public school homework pattern. There was either no homework or too much. My observation is that over worked teachers frequently, do not return the assignments in a timely manner, so the students
miss out on the essential feedback necessary to learning. As a result, these students are unable to manage their time, set priorities or even realize the value of education in their life.
Our son is now in first year of University, and in conversation last night he told how his residence was emptying out already, with kids who could not cope with the work load of university. They were not prepared for the work load and independence. They had not been taught how to set priorities, manage time and work independently. A recent news report suggested that only 25% of those who enroll in university or college complete their courses. Whether or not that statistic is totally true I don’t know, but, I do know the drop out rate is very high! That is scary! Good study habits lay the groundwork for successful work habits as an adult.