School is work, for some kids…. it’s painstaking work and for a small portion of kids, it’s forcing their minds to function in ways that aren’t designed to thrive.
My oldest is a free- spirited deep thinker. He is emotionally intelligent, wise beyond his years. He is a good PERSON who cares deeply for others. He understands the laws of nature and is capable of accepting people in a way that heals and nurtures their soul…. A skill that can NOT be measured by traditional academic standards.
School is not catering to him, or artistic thinkers like him. Modern education leaves no room for imagination or liberation. School is an unforgiving rigid environment with limited mobility.
That is not to say I don’t believe in the gift of education. My child has grown in profound ways with the guidance of compassionate educators. BUT, there is limited room for recognition of his emotional intellect. Beyond the bounds of textbooks, he is stifled. The measure of his worth is related to test scores and fact memorization.
This is dangerous for our sensitive children.
My child came home today, completely melting down. He told me he is stupid. He sat with tear spilled pages on his Math notebook, heaving sobs of uncertainty into the lines…. he rubbed fiercely at his eyes … an action I took to mean he wishes he could see the information an easier way.
I looked down at the page, at the boxes, at the containers of numbers and lines. I too felt the sting of disorientation, I too recoiled into my fears. I remember as a child, not understanding how to work the information. I wasn’t able to replicate the way “they” taught me to, the way “they” say was the ONLY accurate way.
I remember feeling stupid, inadequate and small. I remember feeling stupid.
I remember wanting to hide away, not wanting to face other students. I didn’t understand how it came so effortlessly to them and not to me. I remember working 10 times harder to comprehend information it took others to receive in just seconds. I remember my flushed face as numbers wedged their way into my head and never come out. Math equations turned to shapes and colors, ‘things’ would go in, and it wouldn’t come out’. I remember the suffocation of my deep thinking as I’d weep into inaccurate homework pages.
I look at my child, and I remember how AWFUL school made me feel MOST of the time.
Now, he sits at the kitchen table ripping at his hair, screaming his frustrations to his father, BEGGING for mercy and I know the pain is real. I know he’s trying his hardest, I know he’s giving it everything he’s got. The more he tries, the more lost he gets in the void of misunderstanding.
I know this is no measure of success, or intelligence, or wisdom…. I know this for him, is torture.
It’s so unfair to pretend like this isn’t impacting his little system. It’s unwise to ignore or diminish his feelings. I refuse to allow him to suffer over this. NO ONE will interfere with my child and his PERSONAL markers of brightness, because the only one who gets to define my child’s intelligence, is my child.
I know where he shines and just because he struggles with a math worksheet does NOT mean he is not brilliant.
I will remind him of his brilliance, and encourage his heart. I will show him his deep thinking is what makes him a well- rounded person and his heart is what matters in this world.
His uniqueness is the art the world needs.
I will empower him to work with what is and remind him of all he can be. He is not LIMITED to grades on paper.
He is limitless.
He is infinite.
and he deserves more than this.