Friday, January 28, 2011

Releasing Perfectionism

Mercedes has been my "difficult" child during our homeschooling.  A classic Taurus, she thinks that everything she does needs to be done perfectly.  So she puts a lot of pressure on herself to do her schoolwork perfectly the first time.

I kept trying to explain to her that I didn't mind her making mistakes - everyone makes them - I just wanted her to learn from them.  She wouldn't write because she's a "creative" speller - ie, she spells like my dad.  I wanted her to get her thoughts on paper, and then we would correct spelling later.

Finally, today, she brought me her narration on Heidi that she wrote.  I corrected her spelling and asked her to re-write it with the correct spelling, grammar and punctuation - and praised her to the skies for just doing it.  Same thing with her math. I explained what she did right (she set up the problems correctly) and what she did wrong (forgot to borrow/carry).  She left to do her work beaming. 

I reminded her of one of my favorite lines from my favorite movie, Meet the Robinsons - "From failure, you learn.  From success, not so much."

Don't be afraid to make mistakes.  The only time mistakes = failure is when you fail to learn from them.

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