As the first round of school progress reports quickly approaches, academic achievement is on the minds of parents and students. Thoughts of the impact of current success or challenges on future achievement are at the forefront. “Is my child learning and doing as well as everyone else? Better? Worse? What does it mean if they are or are not? How can they do better?” In some areas of the San Francisco Bay Area, over-achievement seems to be the norm. School is a competition, finishing at the top is the goal, and sometimes anything but the best is simply not an option. The word "average" is frowned upon.
This blog hopes to help put things in perspective. While grades and achievement are indeed important, it’s necessary to strive for some balance. Persistently pushing your child to being at the top, as far from average as possible, can take a toll on their emotional well-being, the parent-child relationship, and a multitude of other aspects of daily life at home and at school.