I have a son in Grade 6!!!!
This little piece of information is scary in many ways. Firstly, it means I am old enough to have a son in grade 6, and this in itself makes me run around screaming with arms flailing. But, once I calm down, there is still more to be concerned with. He is starting high school next year, and which high school do I send him to?
As well as there being many schools to chose from, there are many ‘schools of thought’ on this, just as there was for breastfeeding, and getting a newborn to sleep etc.
As a parent, I obviously want to give my son, and daughter when her time comes, the best start in life, with the most opportunities. Do I need to throw money at it, or can I assume he will fulfil his potential regardless??
In trying to work all this out I remember a story I heard back in the early 80′s which I have never forgotten. I found it so inspirational, and I still do. It was about a successful man from Harlem in NewYork who went back to the school he had attended 50 years earlier to give the grade 6′s a motivational talk on the benefits of graduating high school. As he stepped up to the podium the principal informed him that 75% of these kids wont finish high school. In that instance he changed his speech to include an offer to pay the college tuition for each child that graduated high school. Of those 61 grade 6 students, 90% graduated high school and 60% went on to a higher education, and they all have fulfilling jobs. Those that are now parents vow their kids will have college educations. You can read more about it, and the continuing success of the ‘I Have A Dream’ foundation at http://www.ihaveadreamfoundation.org/
This story makes me so very happy. It says to me, that these kids knew they were from a place with little opportunity, so when they saw it, they took it. And good on them!!! But what about the kids who seemingly have much opportunity??? Do they sometimes take it all for granted and achieve less?? How much of it comes down to personality??? And how much of it comes down to the quality of parenting?? Time will tell I suppose, and ultimately like everyone else I just want my kids to have a happy life.
I’m off to a school open evening tonight, hopefully they impress me!