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If there is one thing that I have learned in my years as a parent, it is that each child is their own person and learns differently.

For me, this has played out like this…

My older son is and has always been resistant to the traditional academic style.  He doesn’t want to sit down and do a workbook, or write in a journal.  It is a challenge for him and if he can’t do it perfectly, he doesn’t want anything to do with it.

But, you give him some cardboard, cups, sticks, and other recycled materials- you will get an airplane or a car.

Recycled Materials

Recycled Materials (Photo credit: chooyutshing)

It doesn’t seem like this type of learning is supported in his public school and if this is the only learning I focus on at home, Brayden will not be “up to par” in the classroom.

My younger son is a different story.  He is almost reading at age 4, he can write his name and many times is more than willing to sit and do “homework”.

I assume some of the difference is that Maddox is the younger sibling and has grown up watching his older brother doing his Kindergarten homework, but I also suspect that he is more of a traditional learner.

For the years leading up to Brayden beginning Kindergarten, I decided that I wasn’t going to push him academically.  I just wanted him to love school and if he was behind to begin, he would catch up once he got there.

That is exactly what happened.

But what about now?

As I have sat with him daily over the summer, the struggle continues.  I have found fun ways to “disguise” the work and yet still, he just fights the academics.  ( We are talking about only 15-20 minutes a day…)

While the range of academic skills in the classroom is so vast, I just want Brayden to feel good about himself and be average academically.  But the average is so advanced compared to when I was in first grade. 

Is it worth the fight?

Bubbie sent me an interesting article yesterday (you are the best!) on CNN opinion called Parents, why are you pushing your kids? by Jeff Pearlman, and it raised some questions…

Here is a taste…

“It’s no longer enough to have Junior learning at his grade level. He has to be, testing-wise, one or two notches ahead (Unintentional end result: A classroom of bored, poorly behaved tykes). It’s no longer OK for Junior to have little to do after school, free time to use as he sees fit. No, now you’re either signing your child up for myriad organized activities, or you’ve somehow allowed him to fall behind. Everything revolves around success, success, success, success.

But here’s the thing: What in the world is success?”

(Read the article here)

What are your opinions on this topic?