“My Story…” Monday: A – A Well-Rounded Child

(You can catch up on A’s story right here: The Pregnancy, The Birth, The Infancy, The Quiet Toddler, Advocating, What He COULD Do, Just A Boy, The (Hard) Next Step, Making a Friend, The Autism DiagnosisHe Talks, Hyperlexia, Your Baby Can Read, Another Evaluation, A New Kind of Special Need, Linear Algebra, The Triennial, The IQ Results, Bye, Bye Autism Diagnosis, Dr. C’s Plan, Second Grade Math, Is it too easy?)

 

[If this seems random or a little out-of-order in terms of story-telling, it's because I wrote it ahead.  Our family is on vacation this week!  So please bear with me and know that things will get back on track very soon...]

 

By now, it’s probably pretty clear that A. thrives in the academic setting.  A strong reader and gifted math student, he is consistently a top performer in the classroom.  A born rule-follower (like his mama), he also doesn’t make many waves.   It should therefore come as no surprise that most teachers are happy to have him in their classes.  And that’s peachy-keen.

 

I can also tell you that I happen to be mama to the child who, when given a choice of something new at Walmart, gravitates toward the math workbooks.  It’s true.  He’s already bummed out because his sister C. will likely be in summer school this next summer and he will not– I kid you not.  To placate him, I’ve promised him a new math workbook for the next grade up if he has a good year.  (He will.)

 

What does all this mean?  Well, it means that we have a child who would probably be pretty darn content to stay home armed with lots of books to read and math problems to solve.  And, to be honest, that would be easy and fun for us.

 

But it’s not what we’re doing.

 

I’m pretty sure I’ve already mentioned this somewhere, but I’m going to reiterate it here:  We do NOT believe in over-scheduling children.  I could write an entire post on just that one sentence, but, for now, I’ll just say that I think creativity blooms and children thrive when given free-time.  They learn the art of stillness and the skill of entertaining themselves.  They rest.  They recuperate.  It’s important.

 

Still, a few well-chosen extracurricular activities can be very beneficial for most children, in my opinion.

 

For A, we’ve chosen karate, for one.  Martial arts are fabulous in that you’re really only “competing” against yourself.  There’s measurable growth (through the belt system) which appeals to our analytical thinker.  There’s a real focus on awareness and control and these are good things for our jumper-flapper to work on!

 

It is so interesting to watch A. in there among his peers.  He excels at things that trip many of the students up.  Counting in Korean?  Mastered it during week one.  Learning all the proper terminology and etiquette?  Easy peasy.  He gets good marks for listening and making a sincere effort, too.

 

The things that are harder for him are things many people take for granted: Standing still.  Maintaining eye contact.  Sitting quietly on the sidelines.

 

But these are good skills for him to practice.  And, while A. will probably never be a “natural” when it come to karate, I have no doubt he will continue to move through the ranks due to his commitment, perseverance, and determination.  Those are fabulous life-skills to attain.

 

He is already a blue belt.  He got there by moving one half-belt at a time– slow and steady.

 

For a child who so frequently soars ahead with leaps and bounds, learning to progress slowly and steadily is important.

 

It’s part of becoming a well-rounded, prepared individual.  And it’s our job to help him do that.

 

(I’ll share more of what we’re doing to help A. stay happy and well-rounded coming up!)

 

 

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