Where did it happen?
I would be willing to wager even if your answer happened in a school setting, it probably didn't happen in a classroom. That may be true for some, but I imagine that number is small.
I want everyone reading this to think about that for a moment.
As a society, we put so much emphasis on academic prowess. Did they make the Honor Roll? What is their GPA? How hard did you study for that last test or exam, and did your grade show it? Now, I'm not saying that academics aren't important, and I firmly believe that the best thing we can do for our children is to make sure they grow into educated, intelligent adults who will one day take over the world.
Notice, however, that I didn't say they had to be the most schooled. I said I want them to be educated. Often the best place to become a truly educated human being is outside of a classroom. I tell people all the time I want my kids to be educated, I don't need them to be schooled. We sit down every single day when they get home from school with a snack and a book, and all of us, including myself, read for 20 minutes. I want them to learn to love that and be able to just do it on their own. That, in my opinion is part of their education. Do I get stressed out when I forget to sigh the agenda book that they read every day? No. The reading is the important piece there.
Both of my boys are athletes. They have both gotten to the point that they are each playing two travel sports (thankfully the same two, which is a little easier on the schedule), and there are moments when doing those activities butts up against their schoolwork. I will tell you, however, that I am not upset about this at all. On the contrary, I actually think that "problem" in and off itself is educating them. They have to learn to manage their time and schedule, and figure out how to get it all done in the hours they are given every day.
Talk about a valuable life skill that they will be able to use later in life, probably much more than the ability to diagram a sentence. Shocking, I know. And yet, we often get so focused on "school comes first" that we lose sight of what they are actually learning in these situations.
We live in a world full of life hacks. Shortcuts, cheat sheets, quick fixes, "oh, just Google it". I could write this entire article using voice-to-text software if I really wanted to and not even have to put a finger on the keys until I wanted to publish it. We've all been told that time is money, we have to be more efficient, and we want it all done by yesterday.
Do you know the only real way to teach a kid to read and catch a fly ball in center field? Hit them a thousand fly balls.
Don't give up.
Mess up? Try again.
Again, what an incredible life lesson.
Through sports alone my kids have learned that practice pays off and hard work paired with teamwork will get you further than trying to do anything on your own. They've had to fight through when it was hard and they wanted to quit. They've dealt with wonderful coaches and complete jerks, and learned how to play for both of them and be successful. Teammates come in all shapes and sizes, and while on various teams have learned to help the kid that is struggling while not getting angry at them, as well as how to high five their friend who just hit a home run when they are having an off day. They've learned that sometimes you are the star one someone else's bad day, and that the day will come when that same teammate will pick you up when you fail. Most importantly, they've learned not to be afraid to fail, because awesome things happen when you swing the bat.
All of that happens outside of a classroom.
Go home kids and do your homework, but get out there and live. You might just learn something.
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