Some students do well in school and others do not. Have you ever wondered why?

We are all different! When my husband and I travel in areas where we are not familiar (and when we do not have our GPS to guide us), it is better for me to drive and him to navigate. When I try to read a map, I cannot tell you whether we need to turn right or left at the next intersection. I cannot take a two-dimensional representation of real space (the map) and change it in my mind to represent three-dimensional space (the world).

Fortunately, in school it was a rare occasion when I needed to be able to read a map and tell someone which way to go. Map skills are not that valuable in school.

On the other hand, I can read piano music very well. I can take a sheet of music and turn it into a beautiful experience on the piano for both you (the listener) and me (the player).

Unfortunately, being able to do that was not that helpful in school either. No one really cared that I could do that.

What if the thing I cannot do is read, spell, or do basic math calculations? Then, I become a struggling student. These skills are really important school skills and students who struggle with them struggle generally in school. School becomes uncomfortable, unsuccessful, and no fun.

For these students, it is important to find the thing they can do exceptionally well (like playing the piano or building models) and give them plenty of time doing that. If they spend their entire life struggling, it is hard for them to feel good about themselves.

They need to know that school is not life. Eventually, they will be finished with school and they will get to spend time doing things they do well rather than focusing on their weaknesses.

For an interesting perspective, I recommend reading some of Dr. Mel Levine’s work about focusing on the positive in your child’s life.