I was on Facebook this morning, and stumbled upon a discussion about children's grades. The status was summarizing a conversation heard on the local radio this morning, one of the host's children is an intelligent young man but brought home a mediocre report card. The parents were crediting his grades to laziness and were asking listeners to help determine an appropriate punishment.
Many peers commented on the status with their own recommendations and how they might handle the poor report card; however, one woman's reply stood out to me. Beyond that, it resonated with me.
While I don't have her exact quote (the conversation has mysteriously disappeared from my feed), she posed the idea that perhaps the student is somehow struggling, perhaps he has a learning disorder that isn't outwardly obvious and that perhaps someone should take a moment to help him.
Now, I'm not saying we should disregard poor grades and make them OK with a label. I'm saying that it's such an important point and it frustrates me that more people aren't looking at a struggling child and seeing this as part of the solution.
When I was in the sixth grade, I slacked... big time. I'd always struggled with my confidence as a kid, and when I got to the middle school (a melting pot of multiple elementary schools from the area), I had even more people to compare myself to. Surrounded by kids that made me feel inadequate, I started to stop doing my schoolwork because I felt that it didn't matter... I wouldn't be able to provide answers as intelligent as theirs, or my poster project wouldn't be as pretty, etc. Juvenile thoughts, yes, but I was 10 or 11 years old.
As my grades quickly took a turn for the worse, my teachers contacted my parents. Forced to sit down in a meeting with everyone, the group came up with a solution to help me both at home and in school. At the end of each class, I was required to go up to the teacher and have them sign my assignment book where I'd written the homework for the day. This meant that I couldn't go home and pretend there wasn't work to be done, it made me accountable. I was successfully able to prove to everyone, including myself, that I wasn't a slacker. I just needed a little organization!
By the time I got to high school, I'd become a much better student, but I developed major test anxiety. Despite that, I maintained high grades. In the 10th grade, I asked my English teacher if she could recommend me to the Honors class for the next year. She told me no, that I wouldn't be able to keep up.
I was furious. I was upset. And the second week of my Junior year I woke up, went to school and told all of my friends that I wasn't coming back. None of them understood how I could give up the glory (gag) that is high school, the social life, etc. for ..... homeschooling.
Thank you to the most selfless mother in the world, who didn't bat an eyelash when I'd told her my decision. To the selfless parents that let me choose (after many a conversation where I had to convince my parents that I wasn't being bullied and that yes, it really was just because of academics).
Opting to homeschool was the best decision I could have made. I was able to take higher-level courses, select courses that catered to my own interests (this is how I got into archaeology) and graduated from a diploma program. When college rolled around I was like a seasoned pro because I'd already learned to work independently while many of my peers struggled without the guidance of a teacher.
So, my answer to that radio show? Talk to your child, whether they are 10 or 16. If you know that your child is bright, don't assume that their poor grades reflect laziness. Maybe the lazy behavior you see is actually the response to something else that's going on. Explore different learning styles, new study techniques, ways to prevent anxiety. If your child isn't interested in the topic that they are studying, work with them to find ways to make it a little more exciting. I'm not saying that everyone should homeschool, and I understand that in many households it simply isn't a reality; however, my point is that there are solutions. For me, it was finding a way to get the education that I wanted, and I knew I wouldn't find that where I was. It was proving to myself that I could do something, even when I was told that I couldn't. Homeschooling is what worked for me, but I know it's not for everyone.
There are solutions to these sorts of problems, and I wish that more people would take a moment to explore them before assuming it's laziness, lack of motivation, etc.
On June 21, 2016 over 60 women from the Philadelphia suburbs gathered together to kick off summer at DaVinci's Pubin Collegeville, PA.
We sipped on Peach Sangria and nibbled on Chicken Spring Rolls from their Happy Hour menu (seriously, these were delicious) plus a complimentary crudités station.
Thanks to all who joined us! RSVP to our next Girls Night Out.
Manayunk Arts Festival
June 25, 2016
The 27th Annual Manayunk Arts Festival will be held along historic Main Street on Saturday, June 25. Nearly 300 artists will showcase their work... you don't want to miss this.
Paddling the Brandywine
June 25, 2016
This weekend, you'll have a chance to canoe from Brandywine Outfitters with a stop for lunch at a conserved property with a stone medicine wheel (bring your own lunch!). Presented by The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County.
Philadelphia International Day of Yoga 2016 : Yoga Celebration
June 25, 2016
10+ organization and Philadelphia City Hall are joining together to celebrate IDY in Philly. Join a mass sun-salutation, breathing + yoga techniques, discussions about the philosophy of yoga and more. All programs are FREE and are open to children, youth and adults of all backgrounds.
Chester County Hot Air Balloon Festival
June 24-26, 2016
Celebrating its 10th year, the festival is an annual favorite in the Philly 'burbs. This years expanded 3-day schedule highlights 20+ hot air balloons with flights 2x per day, untethered and tethered balloon rides and a walk-thru ballon. Ticketed event.
Yoga With The Phillies
June 26, 2016
Get your zen on at Citizens Bank Parks outfield grass. Afterwards? Head to XFINITY LIVE! for discounted draft beers and half off apps. Ticketed event.
Phoenixville Craft Beer Festival
June 18, 2016
Breweries and beer enthusiasts will gather in Phoenixville for an unlimited sampling of 75+ beers. Ticketed event.
Summer Supper presented by Spoonful Magazine and pucciManuli
June 18, 2016
Spoonful Magazine and pucciManuli are bringing Ardmore a farm-to-table dinner experience that will benefit the Ardmore Food Pantry and World Food Programme. Ticketed event.
Riverfest & 6th Annual Tidal Schuylkill Boat Parade
June 19, 2016
This family-friendly event at Bartram's Garden is sure to delight Dad this Father's Day. Kayaking, row boating, bike clinics and a farmers market are just some of the activities that'll be available on-site.
Chevrolet Father's Appreciation Day at the Philadelphia Phillies
June 19, 2016
If Dad is a baseball fan, you'll want to score tickets to this weekends game. There will be a pre-game tribute honoring all Dad's, complimentary shirts for men 15+ courtesy of Chevrolet and Bret Boone will be on-site signing copies of his book. Keep an eye our for new uniforms for the Phil's!
Grist Mill Demonstration Day
June 19, 2016
If you've got a history buff on your hands, you'll definitely want to take Dad to the Historic Springfield Mills at Morris Arboretum for this free demonstration along the Wissahickon Creek. Guided tours.
Here in the Philadelphia-area, I'm starting to see more children accompanying their mother's on errands and riding their bikes around the neighborhood with an energy that only one thing ignites ... school is out for the summer! Though the season is just beginning, it's only a matter of time before the kids start turning to you for ideas to keep their vacation fresh.
This year, there is an affordable and simple solution to the stale-summer blues thanks to Regal Cinemas. You'll be the best Mom in town as you treat the gang to a movie during Regal's Summer Movie Express, running for it's 25th year. The nine-week promotion features family friendly favorites for only $1 on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10:00AM.
For more information on participating theaters and the movie schedule, please click here.
On May 12, 2016 ladies gathered at Barnaby's in West Chester for our very first Girl's Night Out event. Women were able to network with other business owners, meet new friends and of course, shop!
We were also honored to have the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County joining us to share their mission with our guests and to raise awareness for the cause, which is to end domestic violence in the county. The DVCCC is "committed to empowering survivors of domestic abuse through providing information and supporting them as they reclaim their lives. DVCCC provides services at our main, confidentially located site and satellite sites in Coatesville, Kennett Square, Oxford and Phoenixville. Services are available in English and Spanish and are free and confidential".
We can't thank everyone enough for coming out and supporting us. If you'd like to see more photographs from our event, please click here.
Kathryn Burkholder Productions
And So It Glows
Stella & Dot - Courtney & Stefanie
G & B lularoe Boutique
Paiva Zen Psychotherapy
Kristen Quinn- Independent Beautycounter Consultant
Pure Romance by Lesley M.
KOKOON Stylist - Kathy Miller
True You Health Solutions
Domestic Violence Center of Chester County
Brandywine Strawberry Festival
June 2-5, 2016
A family favorite, the Brandywine Strawberry Festival has been entertaining locals for over 4 decades. You won't want to miss their Fireworks Extravaganza on Friday night, and make sure to grab one of their famous strawberry shortcakes. Proceeds benefit multiple local organizations.
June 4, 2016
Philadelphia Magazine, BeWellPhilly and Independence BlueCross are bringing their Bootcamp back to town this weekend. This ticketed event features indoor/outdoor group classes, cooking demonstrations, lectures and more.
Longwood Gardens' Summer Spectacular
June 4, 2016
This weekend marks the opening of the breathtaking Longwood Gardens Waterlily Display, Meadow Garden trails and Italian Water Garden fountain shows. On display thru early September.
Chestnut Hill Plein Air
June 5, 2016
The Arts Come Alive in Philadelphia's Garden District! Over 50 artists will be featured at this juried art competition. A vibrant community provides the perfect backdrop.
Philadelphia International Cycling Classic
June 5, 2016
Join thousands of fans to cheer on top international professional cyclists that will compete is a 12.3 mile circuit course throughout Philly. Viewing areas are on Main Street in Manayunk, Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park, Midvale Avenue near Kelly Drive and the start/finish line sits atop "The Wall" in Roxborough. Each of these locations will have family-friendly activities available.