Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Top Students Top Parents by Kathleen Burns

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.



There have been times where I've said it would be nice to curl up with a good book, but there is rarely ever time in my life anymore to do so. Enter Hurricane Dorian, and voila', I found the time. In addition to catching up on some things I needed to do, I also found a couple of hours to snuggle into a pillow on the couch, with my new book: Top Students Top Parents by Kathleen Burns. An approaching storm is not the best way to find some down time, truly, but I was still grateful for it.




My son is a good kid already. He's amazing, smart and funny, but he's also very quiet by nature. Some people don't like it, so I feel the need to buffer for him, and say something like, 'He's always quiet,' or 'He's a little bit shy sometimes.' No more. After reading this book, I see that him hearing me say that is just reinforcing to him that I think he's different (and I do, but not different in a bad way). I am going to let him be him, and if others don't like it because it's not what they're used to, then that is their struggle, not mine or my son's.

There is another aspect of this that has creeped up recently, and that is that sometimes people are not a fan of his being quiet. Last year he had a teacher who was young, and outgoing. She was wonderful in SO MANY ways, but she expected her students to be outgoing as well, I think. We did have a parent/teacher meeting about it (before I read this book), and I did agree to encourage him to raise his hand to participate. He will answer any question you ask him (whether he's right or wrong), but he won't often raise his hand on his own to volunteer. He agreed (to go against his grain, and be totally uncomfortable, for the sake of her and me). He did raise his hand a lot for awhile, and I checked in with the teacher here and there, on a cool app she had parents download. She said he was raising his hand a lot and that frankly he seemed happier too, since doing so. I immediately knew that she was determining how he 'feels' based on how she thinks he should participate and interact. He actually feels happier, more interested and wants to be more engaged if he is left to process and learn in his own quiet way. That I knew before the book. As time and habit have it though, he shortly went back to his previous ways of quietly listening, but then he had the added burden of thinking the teacher didn't appreciate who he was as a person. That's when he got unhappy and started wanting to miss school. My child who had always loved school was now hoping to find or create ways to miss it ("I don't feel good" was a statement I heard many a'morning). That has carried over to middle school, and he always says he hates it (ugh, we're working on finding the positive). At the time, I didn't realize I was part of the problem, now after reading this book, I do.

I wish I could say things changed and he ended the year on a positive note, but he didn't. In addition to affecting him socially and emotionally, it also affected his report card. He got good grades in subject areas, but the teacher gave him all 1's on EVERY area there was for participation. His first 'bad' report card. I was downhearted and he was too. We put it aside and hoped for better, but now he's in middle school, he's struggling a little with a few concepts, especially in two of his classes, and he's quiet. I think his personality comes across as rude to some people, even though I know him through and through and know that isn't the case. Someone once told me parents make excuses for their kids' weaknesses, and I know that is often times true. But honestly, in my heart, I know that my child is not rude. He is the opposite in fact, and if people don't take the time to see what's right in front of them (a really good kid!) because they want him to fit a certain mold they think is the 'right' way to act, there is nothing I can do about it. I intend to do my part to support him, and help him learn and grow, but he can do that, being who is he, and I'm perfectly okay with it. More than okay, in fact.


You can see from the Table of Contents that this is not the kind of book you just sit down and read for pleasure, rather it is the kind of book you sit down and absorb. I am reading it slowly, gleaning what I need from it, and moving over what I don't (not every section will be applicable) and thoroughly appreciating the insight the author has shared. As a mom of four, you would think I know all there is to know, but of course, I don't. Each child is different and there is always something to learn.  I take my role seriously because parents really are their children's most important teacher. This book is helping me learn how I can help my son be his very best at school, which includes my letting him be who he is (innately). I have every faith that it will all turn out just the way it is supposed to in the end. :)

Author and educator Kathleen Burns believes every child can be a top student. As a parent, you just need to know how to give them the help and support they need to succeed. Top Students/Top Parents is packed from cover to cover with fun and creative activities and ideas that equip parents with easy to use tools that will make their child’s education a vital part of daily living and childcare. Opportunities for learning are all around us - if only you know where to look. Top Students/Top Parents leads the way with straightforward language that cuts through all the academic jargon of so many other books. It is by far the most comprehensive guide for parents on the market today.

22 comments:

  1. I also am very quiet ad like to process things in my own way when in a learning setting (I can be loud and opinionated with my friends though). I struggled with participation points in school too because I really was shy and didn't want to raise my hand. I am glad you found a good book to help you navigate this a little easier. I hope he has a much better school year this year and can put the negatives of last year behind him.

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  2. This is a great book. I have seen it used in many schools and it does help alot. Excellent book to have for everyone

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  3. I have to read this book. It seems like a perfect way to help our kids get through school and all its challenges.

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  4. I have to look into getting this book. It sounds like it's really informative, and would be perfect for my book collection.

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  5. I will have to pick up this book. My daughter is a cool kid, but doesn't always do well in school. She's smart, but she's more of a dreamer.

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  6. I could have used this book last night!

    Isaak told me that he ate lunch alone. I asked him abruptly why he doesn't eat with people he has classes with. He lost it. Tears flowed. We gave him 15 min. by himself. Turns out a kid befriended him. Another kid said Isaak had the worst haircut ever, and called him ugly. His friend sat by the kid that was putting Isaak down. His only other friend has a different time that he eats lunch.

    I felt like crying too.

    He has been really odd about eating. Maybe stress related. I've been making him eat small meals at least. I worry about eating disorders. It happens even with boys.

    The scariest part was the way he was coping with it all. He was talking to himself the whole time, while crying.

    I don't know what to do. I know I struggled with making friends in middle school. In fact I had a table full of girls ask me to leave their table, so they could have room for guys. Why? Because I was shy. I wouldn't say Isaak, or I are really shy, but when you're in a place where you don't know anyone shyness happens.

    I still don't really know what to do. He might hate me, for telling a councilor. I'm thinking I should just let them know what's going on though. At least get their opinion. Maybe his doctor? I don't know. I'm so worried about him.

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    1. Oh no, I'm sorry to hear it. For the record, I think his haircut is fabulous. I know kids can be mean and at that age they take it so much to heart. :( It's a new school for him, so hopefully it'll all iron out as the year progresses. That's what we're hoping for here too. :)

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  7. From your blog over the years I never would have thought of him as rude. Just some people want things to be all their way, want others to be like them, and that isn't going to happen. Let kids be who they are and learn how they do, as long as they are learning, there shouldn't be a problem. One woman told me recently that if you be who you are and do what is best for you, you are going to (what rhymes with bliss) a lot of people off. Sadly, that is true.

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  8. Looks like an interesting read for parents. I learned a lot of similar things in my years in school taking psychology. I'm glad you found something that works.

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  9. My oldest son is very quite and reserved too. I can see why someone might think its rude but he always thinks about things deeply before responding at times. He is a great kid but like you said there are just some teachers out there who forget that everyone is different. Plus, everyone doesn't learn the same way.

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  10. Sounds like a very interesting read. I can relate to the making excuses for my quiet child, but in time I found that I didn't need to make excuses for him. I simply informed teachers that we encourage our kids to be who they are, and so as long as they're being a good human (I do understand mistakes and bad manners can happen, so obviously we discuss better choices next time), then I aspire to be JUST LIKE MY KIDS - unique and individuals. I'll have to check out this book :)

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  11. That does look like an interesting read. I like that the book starts from infancy and offers tips for promoting responsibility.

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  12. THis is certainly a book that I would spend time reading. I think you can pick a lot from it. This is my type of book.

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  13. I need this book! I will say I wasn't prepared for middle School. This year so many things have changed. I think this is a good read for me!!

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  14. Thanks for sharing! I need to get this book, especially being a first time mom. We are still in the toddler phase but I am sure there is still a lot for me to learn!

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  15. This seems like it would be a really good book. Looks like there is a lot of great information in this book. I'll have to check it out.

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  16. This book definitely looks super informative and like you said, one that you go through slowly and absorb. This is definitely an interesting one for parents.

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  17. Sounds interesting and I would love to have a copy of this book and I am sure my daughter will also loves to read this book too.

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  18. I think that it is hard when teachers expect the kids to be all the same. They are very different and there is no need to conform.

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  19. What a great read for parents! I'll recommend this to a friend who has three kiddos!

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  20. This looks like a great read! I have 2 that are in school currently and I know they try their best - but I wonder if I could help them be better (Not just academically, but overall)

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  21. All the feelings I have reading this post about your son growing and learning and you as a parent willing to see your strengths and weaknesses and doing your very best for him is an inspiration. When you said some take your son being quiet as being rude reminded me of of Mama when she was in school. She wax valedictorian and voted most beautiful all 4 years yet some said she was rude because she was incredibly shy. She had outgrown her shyness now. I hate that the teacher seems to think and grade students on what she feels is how students should be. If she was a shy person she would probably feel considerably different. Both of my daughters are grown now. One finished college two years ago and my youngest daughter, the 99 gpa over achiever is in her senior year at ole miss now. Thanks for sharing this post and book. I hope you are all good after Dorian. My heart goes out to so very many that are not ok.

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