This has been bugging me for a couple of weeks now and I decided I would take a little bit of time to blog about it. It may seem like a rant, so feel free to skip if you're not in the mood for a rant.
You may remember that Austin got his driver's license a couple of weeks ago. For the record, I am finally calming down a little bit when he is gone. I no longer stand by the window or pace around outside. He texts when he gets to his destination and when he is leaving to come home, so I can pretty much determine when to expect him (Side note: how did anyone let their teens drive before cell phones and/or texting?????). He has driven in the dark and he has driven in the rain. He hasn't gone very far from home yet, and that's all right by me. But he goes where he needs to and that's convenient. He hasn't driven his sisters anywhere alone. Not sure when I'll be OK with that! LOL
OK, so back to the point of the story. I called the insurance company the day he got his license to add him to our policy. The agent asked if he had Driver's Ed, which he does, and that saves some money. Then she asked if he has a B average to qualify for the Good Student discount. He does not. She said, "Well, tell him to work hard and pull up those grades so he can get the discount. It is significant." I muttered something about him being a hard worker, and we talked about something else for a minute.
THEN she went BACK to the Good Student Discount thing and told me exactly how much the policy would go down if he had the discount. And said something AGAIN about telling him to "work harder"!
I didn't say anything at the time, but I was LIVID. Why is it the assumption that a child who doesn't have a B average doesn't work hard? Austin works VERY hard. He still doesn't have a B average.
Then this past Monday we went to a new neurologist, a regular one, not a pediatric one. We liked him well enough, but he asked me what Austin's GPA is. WHY? Did he not look at the report I just gave him that indicated that he has a diagnosed Cognitive Disorder?? Is it not enough to say he works hard but struggles??
Why is there such a focus on academics in our culture? Why is that the ONLY way we value someone? Is there not a "Good Citizen" discount? Austin is volunteering his time to coach younger boys this season, paying back for all the time that people invested in him when he was a young baseball player. Today he babysat his sister, supervised her school work, and made her lunch so I could volunteer where his other sister takes classes. He is a nice kid, works hard, doesn't give up, and has battled so many trials in his young life. But that doesn't count.
And you know what? I'm a homeschool mom. I could GIVE him Bs if I wanted to. I could GIVE him As if I wanted to. But he and I want his grades to be an accurate reflection of his abilities. He's not stupid. He knows he doesn't get As (except from his drum teacher who is in charge of assigning that grade). We are not into grade inflation at the Black Pearl Academy.
OK, I'm done ranting. I think. I may come back to this later. :)
I'm curious - if you're a teacher (homeschool, private, public), what makes a "Good Student" to you??