I probably mentioned this before in the blog, but one of the reasons we moved to Texas was because it was less academically competitive. We've already met one family who thinks "kindergarten is a waste of time," some of the kids barely do their homework, and some of the teachers don't even bother assigning homework(!!!). I know a guy who went to Yale (from Texas) and Harvard (from North Carolina) who both said they couldn't have gotten in to their schools if they were from the NYC area. Schools like geographic diversity and they are only going to take so many kids from New York.
That having been said, G is going to need all the help he can get. He's "smart," but not really a great student. I'm not one of those crazy parents who think their kid needs to go to school X, but I do think it's my job that he reaches whatever potential he has. Since G can't get into college with "plays videos games" and "watches TV" as his extracurriculars, we decided we needed to engage him in some more "productive" activities. So we finally decided on the three things he'll be doing after school this fall:
1) Afterschool tutoring. Even though he got over a 95 average on his final report card last year, G isn't the best student. He doesn't test well (very sloppy) and he didn't get into they advanced program at his elementary school. So how did he get a 95+? He gets like 100 on every homework (because I help), he's good at spelling, and we're super-nice to the teacher. So basically he tests around a 90. Not horrific, but it's true what they say on Glee - a 90 is the Asian F. I think a little more practice might help with his "sloppiness" and help to anchor some of the basic learning blocks. For example, it takes him like 30 seconds to tell me what 12x7 is (HE asks me to quiz him on number facts when we're bored - I'm not some kind of math ogre). Because all future learning is based on how welll he knows the material now, I think he need a little more practice.
2) Golf. I signed up the family for a group golf lessons. G is not particularly fast or strong. Golf is perfect! Not just for school, but for life in general. IMO, golf is probably the most important extracurricular you can have. When I was at the bank, we woud go golfing as a desk. Shoot! Even poker players plan golf outings during every live donkament. Whether you're a doctor, in sales, an athlete, whatever, you will find many social activities involing golf. Not saying you need to be "joiner," but life is all about options - it's nice to have all doors open. And going forward, we're going to be travelling a lot, and it would be nice to play a few rounds as a family all over the world. We live 2 blocks from a nice golf course, and the pro seems pretty good (he taught at Hank Haney's academy). And lessons for 4 are costing us under $55 a lesson! Have I mentioned how cheap it is here in Texas?!? I also got this VIP card that lets me and G hit all the balls we want for a year, so it'll be a nice Fly Boys activity once or twice a week.
3) Martial Arts. We were going to sign up for Karate at a local elemetary school, but Mrs. "I'm Korean" Fly said, "WTF! My boy is not taking some Nip martial art! He's taking the Korean tae kwon do!" (Okay... I may have added in the racism) Having taken tae kwon do myself as a child, I can attest to it's complete uselessness. G seems to have an interest in MMA, so I'm thinking of taking him there some time next month. The kids here seems pretty polite, but it's always good to know how to defend yourself. G's been bugging me to get him random weapons (he likes Lego Ninjago), so I told him if he gets a black belt, he can buy whatever he wants (within reason). Giving a 9 year old a katana and shurikens may sound crazy, but if that couch potato puts that much work into it for the next 2-3 years, he deserves it. Or if that college thing doesn't work out, he can be one of those dudes who get beat up regularly in the octagon or the WWE. Career options FTW.
And he still has 2-3 afternoons a week to play with his buddies. Balance.