How to Make Your Child an A Student.

Ever since I was old enough to get A’s and B’s I was scolded into trying to get them. I can remember hating to bring. My report card home because I knew that I had a spanking coming for not getting any A’s.

 Here’s the interesting thing, I was never told why getting A’s was important only that if I didn’t get them I was going to get a spanking. That reality lies in this generation today; if you ask the average person, parent, adult, or child why is it important to get As and B’s rarely will you hear the true answer.

 In fact, before you read any further ask yourself the question, why is it important to get A’s and B’s?  If you’re like most people your answer ranged from getting good grades to do better in school. The real reason that it is important to get A’s and B’s is that A’s and B’s equal choices.

 If you are a child in school and you are getting A’s and B’s when you grow up you can go to any college that you want; if you are child in school and you are getting A’s and B’s you can have any job that you want, and with that job you can have the life that you want: cars, house, vacations, boat this list is endless.

 If you have a child and you sat the child down and explained what I just said to him or her, he or she will be motivated to succeed. On the other hand, if you browbeat them, spank them, or threaten to punish them they will try until the going gets tough and then they will resign themselves to the inevitable punishment. Nothing works better than self-motivation. It gives you the strength to hang in there when the going gets tough.

 Getting As and B’s is not that difficult almost anyone can do it – unless you have a learning disability.  The essential elements are motivation and a plan. This is probably the first time that you have ever heard this concept. You can actually make a plan that will allow you to get A’s and B’s.

 Here’s one. In my capacity as a “ Personal Trainer,”  I have had the privilege to work with very wealthy people. One of those people was a guy by the name of Marion “Duke” Green. I met Duke shortly after I had retired from active competition. I was introduced to him by a mutual friend (Richard Dankard) who owned a restaurant in downtown Washington D.C.  When I was introduced to Duke we hit it off immediately. We had the same kind of personality ( he and I both relish a good joke told with the proper lead, buildup, and timing). He lived on a little hideaway street close to the national zoo.

 One day, as we where walking past the zoo the topic of children and education, came up. He looked at me and said,” You know Rodney, I was never any good at school. In fact, it was terrible.”  I of course was floored by the statement because Duke lived in one of the most affluent areas in Washington. He had made himself wealthy by getting into a helicopter, flying around National Airport and filming how bad the parking, driving, and entry to the airport was. He got a huge contract to clean it up and made himself very wealthy in the process.

 Intrigued by the statement I asked him what kind of grades he got in school. He said A’s and B’s.  I, of course, said, “ If you were so terrible in school, how were you able to get A’s and B’s? He said that he made friends with the smartest kids in his school and started a “Homework Club”. 

Someone had impressed upon him the importance of getting good grades so he surrounded himself with smart people instead of throwing in the towel and resigning himself to his bad grades fate. They taught him how to take good notes and ask the proper questions. He told me that they were having so much fun that they started having homework contest, and challenges to see who would get the highest score on a test. He benefitted hugely from his idea of befriending nerds and starting a homework club.

 In my discussions with Marion “Duke” Green lay the secret to getting good grades, GOOD HOMEWORK! You see the secret in getting good grades is not intellect it’s in your ability to do good homework. Here is how I equate the findings: Good homework equals good tests, good tests equal good grades. It’s as simple as that.

 If you get good grades on your homework, when the teacher announces that there will be a test at the end of the week you will pass the test. If you pass all or must of your tests you will get good grades.

 I was not an unintelligent child. In fact, like “Duke” I was about average. The thing that hurt my ability to get good grades was that I was unsupervised. I was given the ability to determine if the chore of doing my homework would get done properly or not.

 What I would do was go to school and at the end of the day, because I wanted to play with my friends, when my mother asked if I had any homework I would say no; when I would get to school the next day I would play “dodge ball” with my friends and then fifteen minutes before the start of class I would sit and cram through my homework not caring if the answers where right. All I cared about was that I handed the homework in so that my mothers wouldn’t find out that I had lied.

 Had my mom instilled in me the value of being able to have choices of lifestyle when I grew up by getting good grades, stayed connected to my teachers to know what lessons were being taught  and when tests would be given on the subject, and supervised my homework my experience with academia would have been much better for it.

 Too many times well-intentioned parents excuse bad grades for bad potential. It doesn’t have to be that way. Lastly, I want to say that I am aware that a lot of parents, because of the pressures of work and other things don’t have time to sit down with their child every day and supervise homework. He good thing is that you don’t need to. Martial Arts Schools have begun to include “Homework Clubs” in their after school program. We at WCRB Karate will be putting one together next school semester. Parents would do well to consider enrolling their child in a Martial Arts Program that offers such a service.

 May you have everything that you want, and want everything that you have.