Good Grades – So What?

English: Siemens Velaro D at InnoTrans 2010 af...

Don’t let the pursuit of good grades distract you from where your child should be spending his precious time in order to move into the talent zone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good grades in schoolwork are good for your child right? Yes…or maybe not. Here’s very often why not. To get grades in traditional courses, your child will have to study very diligently and consciously to memorize the details and understand the principles. So far so good, as far as demonstrating that you and your child are not slackers and can take in what others dish out.

But here’s the problem:

In the pursuit of grades, you don’t stop to think about why you are deciding for your child to become that well taught in that very specific narrow course that was handed to you. This is dangerous because he is spending all his time becoming very good at something that is irrelevant for his adult life. Your child’s opportunity to find a talent early enough in life can slip away while you weekly and monthly spend hours becoming very good on all the fine points of English grammar. Yes, your child will never later be stumped on any difficult point of grammar. But then the adult world will stun him later with the message “So what? Just use the PC spell checker. By the way, what can you do to bring value to my company before I hire you?”

There is a place for grades and a place for courses, but you must never let them dictate the time and depth to impose on your child’s education. Instead, map out a talent course for your child, and then find those courses that fit your child’s trajectory. Sometimes you will want your child to aim for a C  grade even though your child could aim for an A – because he is too busy becoming great in this other area that is outside of the chartered waters.

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