Saturday, March 21, 2009

Learning to be Confident

This weekend my son Sean participated in his Boy Scout's Derby race. He and his father had to work together and build a hand-sized wooden race car to certain specifications. His car would then race other cars on a specialty track. The project reminded me a lot of my work with students.

First, my husband had to baseline the skill set my son had to work with for this project. Then, the planning around the goals, tasks to reach the goal and the timeframe to have this accomplished. Next, the systematic approach that was taken to allow the car to be completed was implemented. Before the car could race at its potential, the materials had to be fine-tuned and constantly weighed to ensure my son and husband were maintaining the right course towards building the car.

Each day, a new step was taken and great intensity was given to the project at hand. As the days passed, my son found the project to be just challenging but definitely not as hard as when they first started out. In the end, my son's car did not win first place. However, he said to me that given this was his first year and he was racing against boys who have been doing this for 4 plus years, he did quite well. He could sense changes of growth in himself because he was "okay" with the competition outcome. He knew of the hard work and time he dedicated to the project and the milestones he overcame. As a result of his efforts and gains, he walked away a more confident young man with improved skills.

Enhanced Learning Skills for Kids (ELSK) strives to recreate this type of scenario every day while working with students. For those that come to ELSK with their heads down, shoulders shrugged and barely able to look anyone in the eyes, ELSK is dedicated to do what it takes to turn these students into self-empowered, active participants in the overall learning process. Learning is not supposed to be difficult and parents need to recognize that its not the teachers responsibility to "enable" your child to learn. They have no control over this when a student walks through their classroom door. I always tell the parents how lucky their child is to have such a loving family that will sacrifice their time and resources to help their child overcome learning blocks.

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