chuvaness
Why I don’t pressure my kids to get the highest grades
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I graduated at the top of my kindergarten class during the ’70s. I got a gold medal—just once, and then no more.
From a promising bright student, I became an average, mediocre student—although in all my years, I had only failed two subjects: Physics, where the teacher brought my 75 grade to 74 after I cracked a joke during class. And CMT (military training) after I cracked a joke concerning a military officer’s sword.
Truthfully, my jokes have gotten me so much trouble, I wish I didn’t joke so much.
In the end I did graduate with two degrees—in Journalism and Fashion Design. I like to think I didn’t end up so bad.

My student ID

In contrast, my Dutch husband Jeroen also didn’t do well in school but he was a happy kid. After school he would play Tarzan with his friends, climb trees, and fall in the mud. His mother was an angel who didn’t freak out seeing mud on the floor, or even when Jeroen fell from a tree and broke his arm (she was a nurse, after all).
At a very young age Jeroen knew he wanted to work with his hands and food. At first he wanted to be a lettuce farmer, but upon the encouragement of his parents, he became a chef.

Silveren Spiegel, 1995

Since both of us didn’t do well scholastically, we don’t pressure our kids to be the best in class.
In the beginning, Ben and Markus brought home high grades and honors, but as they grew older, the grades became average, sometimes barely passing. None of them—not even Christian—has ever flunked a subject and I thank God. Because after waking up early to beat the traffic, hours of school and tutor after that, all I want for them is to relax and feel at home.

Ben's graduation

How I wish they would hit the shower as soon as they get home, stinky and filthy from a day in school, but all they want to do is lie down and watch their iPads.
Video games are allowed only on weekends.
I really hate it when they’re given homework that need help from their parents, because even though I consider myself a hands-on parent, I am done with school. I don’t want to do my kids’ homework.
How I wish they had no homework at all.

My husband didn’t have homework but he had a stress-free childhood. And now he is the head of a company that employs hundreds. He didn’t end up bad at all.
So I’m sharing this Michael Moore video in hope that schools in Manila would take notice.
Homework isn’t all that. It’s about happy children, happy families, happy homes—which is, in the end, what really matter.

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Phillip Sumpter

My three sons from my first marriage were never pressured to be the best. They were encouraged to *do* their best, whatever that meant to them. We all have to do our best in areas of life we naturally excel or naturally struggle at. The point is **try**. Just try, and find **your** way, not someone else’s.

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Kawaii_Potato

My sister is currently a 4th grader, and throughout the whole school year, she only had like 4 home works, and those are the works she didn’t manage to finish at school. My mom on the other hand, instead of being happy about it, scold my sister because she assumes that my sister was neglecting his studies. My mom would check my sister’s notes for homework and if she has none, my mom would force her to read a reference book and study for class even though my nine-year old sister just wanted to play outside with her friends, or… Read more »

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Crystal S.

Hello! Please do watch a documentary titled “Race to Nowhere” interesting topics about homework.

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Jingo Lopez

Education should not only happen in school.

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Ricky Bobby

I was not a good student. Through out my student life, I’ve been cutting classes, cheating on tests, copying homework, etc. Think of something juvenile delinquent would do, I did it. It took me 8 years to graduate from a 3 year computer science course. Not because I was stupid, but I just didn’t like the traditional school system. I was a square peg being jammed in a tiny circle hole. When I graduated, joined a call center, but I hated every moment of it. I knew that it was a dead end job. Luckily, I’ve always been into computers… Read more »

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divasoria

I was an honor student from 1st grade thru 7th but didn’t get into top 10 because of conduct/disciplinary issues(I’ve always had a rebellious streak). I became average in high school(although i went to Pisay!), In fact, I almost got a failing grade in 2nd year Algebra even if I was part of the Philippine Science team for the Philippine Math Olympiad(I hated the teacher), And then got Dean’s List/Latin honors in college just because I liked what I was studying. That said, I’m a firm believer that life success is not hinged on academic excellence nor intelligence. It’s really… Read more »

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disqus_hyetgk0hq0

I respectfully disagree. It’s dependent on the family you are born into. If you are born poor, your option is to only do great at school and hope that it’s enough to have a much better life in the future. [Reply]CVS Reply:May 18th, 2016 at 11:45 AMgood point! [Reply]ravenndei628 Reply:May 20th, 2016 at 4:19 PMI agree with this comment. As someone from a family who cannot afford to send me to school, I had to study hard to get scholarships. And thankfully through enough hard work I got accepted as a scholar in an exclusive girls’ academy where I graduated… Read more »

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ravenndei628

I agree with this comment. As someone from a family who cannot afford to send me to school, I had to study hard to get scholarships. And thankfully through enough hard work I got accepted as a scholar in an exclusive girls’ academy where I graduated high school, and in another all-girls college where I was able to graduate with my degree. Now I’m working and am now able to support my parents. Studying hard to get good grades was the only way for me to help my family.

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Jem DC

Tell that to Singapore schools & their kiasu parents. I pity the kids here who have tons of schoolwork (even during school breaks), go on various after-school tutor & weekend lessons — piano, ballet, sports etc. They don’t have enough time to enjoy being kids. [Reply]CVS Reply:May 20th, 2016 at 3:48 PMwhat is kiasu? like tiger mom? [Reply]Jem DC Reply:May 21st, 2016 at 7:40 PMKiasu – wanting to get ahead of others or makalamang; so they send their kids to every lessons/extra curricular activity they can afford making them tiger mothers in the process. [Reply]CVS Reply:May 21st, 2016 at 10:07… Read more »

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Mrs E

Our family has been home schooling for many years. I thank God for His blessings on our children. All honor students; all scored high on standardized tests (specially our girls), all college-bound. Oldest graduated with Magna cum Laude designation, second-born with a Cum Laude designation. Other than requiring lots of memorization (easy-peasy when you’re young), we were very flexible with their school schedule. I lived in a province of the PI for the first few years of my life. Thus, my let’s-take-time-to-play roots.

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MK

So many moms now feel the pressure of being perfect – perfect careers, perfect skinny bodies, even perfect first bday parties. The problem is they also want their kids to be uber perfect which is too much pressure :

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wendyzaycee

I strongly agree with this, Ms C. I was a consistent honor student and went to the top university here in the PH. But when I compare myself to a family friend who I assumed did poorly in school (had interactions with her reason I made that assumption), she has her own business and makes def more money than me. Which means that, acads doesn’t define your success (well if we measure success by the amount of money we earn) especially when we all grow up we learn the same things. It’s just a matter of diskarte. That’s why I… Read more »

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jeclog

Agree, money is not the only measure of success. But how do we measure success? In fact, it is really relative. As my dad always tell me – “always do better than your parents” whether be in career, marriage, raising kids, in life generally. We can’t compare ourselves with other people as we all have different predisposition in life, so I reckon the best measure would be with our parents. we take their good examples while realizing their mistakes when we get older. Imagine a guy whose dad is drug addict, without a steady job and a womanizer, and this… Read more »

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BRian

You are such an inspiration Ms. C! I myself did not really go for the academic recognition… I mostly wanted to win art contest, writing contest and that made me happy… my parents did not pressure us to give them line of 9 grades, they were okay… now at my 30s… I see the difference between the life i have and the life of those classmates who were on top of the class, I would say, I’m happy it was my destiny to have victory from within than having golds around my neck. I always tell people to lighten up… Read more »