Standing on the beach in one of my favorite spots in the world, Honokawaii, Maui, I saw a giant sea turtle lazily sunning on the shore.
With the start of school, most families are feeling anything but lazy. But as I watched the turtle, it was a good reminder that no matter how structured or hectic life becomes, it’s important to take a time out to breathe, to have even a few minutes of downtime.
When my kids were in school, it was hard as a busy mom to give myself even 5 minutes of downtime, but starting when my son was in kindergarten, I learned that he needed some quiet unstructured time after school just to regroup before he could go on to anything else. A “lazy” few minutes can clear the mind.
Sea Turtles like to hang out in the coral reefs near the shore. Often they are right where the waves are breaking and seem to be pretty much at the mercy of the churning surf. It’s amazing to see these huge turtles tossed and turned, sometimes even flipped over by the waves as they struggle to graze along the reef.
I guess that’s just how it’s got to be for turtles – that struggle against the surf. But for kids who struggle in school, especially if school has always been hard, it doesn’t have to be that way in most cases.
When smart kids struggle in school, it’s almost always because there are weak underlying learning/processing skills (such as memory, attention, processing speed, auditory or visual processing, or sensorimotor integration) that are not supporting them well enough. As a result they flounder or have to work too hard or for too long to get the job done.
Unlike turtles, whose lives are pretty much driven by the whims of the ocean, most smart kids can become much more comfortable and independent learners. The underlying learning skills can be developed, making it much easier to permanently remediate the reading, writing, spelling or math skills that have fallen behind.
If you have one of those kids who struggles in school, JOIN US for a FREE parent information night. Go to www.learningdisability.com for details and RSVP.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL GIFT: Come by one of our centers and we will give you a copy of At Wit’s End, A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle, Tears, and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities.
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