A few months ago, we talked with a Mom named Leslie. Leslie watched her son Jason start college with high hopes, and almost immediately saw those hopes dashed by stress and overwhelm.
He struggled writing papers to begin with, but having to write several different papers that were all due around the same time? He didn’t know where to start.
Forget about troubles getting his thoughts onto paper, he was so overwhelmed that he could hardly form thoughts to begin with. Leslie said it was almost as if he were paralyzed.
Now, Leslie is an incredibly proud mama. Jason suffers from anxiety and has language processing differences, but this had never stopped him from having big ambitions and believing that he could succeed and working hard to make it happen.
She was absolutely heartbroken for him – he was so determined to reach his goals in college, wanted so badly to just be able to do what he felt he was capable of, but kept failing no matter how hard he tried.
Leslie knew that failing out of college, not getting the results he wanted despite trying so damn hard, would crush her son.
She didn’t really care about grades so much as what they represented to Jason – that he wasn’t less smart or capable because of his learning differences. That doing well in school was proof he could have a successful career too.
They tried tutors, tutoring centre, scribes, all the available resources at the school. Nothing changed and Jason felt more and more like he was drowning.
Leslie reached out at a critical time. He was on the verge of failing most of his courses, which would mean he was no longer eligible for his dream program. He was getting mostly 50s and 60s, but needed an overall minimum average of 75% that term.
He had some big papers coming up that would make or break him. As much as she was panicking and there was a huge time crunch, she wanted to help Jason stay calm as he worked to bring his grades up. Otherwise, Leslie feared he might just shut down.
So we dove right in. Showed him how to write an essay. Walked him through the step-by-step process he can use for every paper in every subject he’ll ever take. Helped him conquer the “where do I start” block. Set him up with a simple system to get and stay organized.
Within the first week, Jason started to turn everything around. He got a 79.1% on his following essay. The professor commended him on the “thoughtfulness of his reflection.” The next big paper he earned a 75%, exactly his goal. The one after that? 90%.
Jason started to actually enjoy writing his papers, and completing them with relative ease. This is what can happen when kids learn the exact steps for working through every assignment they’ll ever have.
The term that had could have ended in disaster finished instead with Jason on the Dean’s Honour List. He got a letter from the Dean congratulating him on bringing his GPA to above a 3.5.
Leslie was thrilled and relieved to say the least, and still is. Jason is thriving. He’s not defined by his learning differences or by his anxiety. He has the confidence and the proof he needs to know he can have the success he wants.
Now, none of this happened easily; Jason worked really hard and there were bumps in the road, but he persevered.
The thing to understand here is that there is a simple way to “do” school. Very few parents get this and even fewer kids figure this out for themselves, hence the pervasive (but wrong) belief that school has to involve a lot of stress and struggle (it doesn’t).
You don’t have to watch your kids struggle. Leslie’s journey is proof that regardless of how bad grades are, how overwhelmed your kids might be, how insurmountable it might seem to turn things around; it’s do-able.
And we’re here to help you do it. Click here to get started.