From Math Struggles To Life Skills, Less Stress And More Free Time (Connor’s Story)

Connor is in Grade 8. Like a lot of middle schoolers, he didn’t really want to be at school outside of seeing his friends (“I only liked lunch and recess”) and he’d rush through schoolwork so he could go do things he actually wanted to do. 

Even though switching to online learning during COVID was tough, he felt overall that school wasn’t hard; he took accelerated classes and got good grades.

Then he started Grade 8 and took two high school classes, Math and Spanish. He’d heard that things got harder in Grade 9, but this made him realize he really wasn’t ready and he especially struggled with Math.

I had an idea that high school would be a little bit more challenging but the amount of work and time you have to start understanding it is just so much less. A unit for middle school might take two weeks, the same unit in high school they’ll give you a week. So there’s less time but more work and it only gets more difficult. It’s a whole different ball game.

His Mom made sure he got math tutoring from the teacher (“who better to help me than the person teaching the class, right?”) but it didn’t help. Then his Mom found Komo, which he didn’t initially understand or want to do in the least.

I thought our initial call was a Math tutoring call. It was snowing outside and it was just after Christmas break and I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t really understand it and I was like ‘how am I gonna do this on top of what I’m doing?’

Then he got more details and more clear on what we’re all about (i.e. learning how to learn and building skills). He realized – 

It’s about giving you the resources to give yourself a better chance. The lessons are all on different ways to study and help yourself become a better student and not get behind and stay up to date with everything. I didn’t have a plan, I had nothing before…I would kinda remember things and it would become a mess, it was so hectic. Komo makes your life a whole lot easier and gives yourself a real chance at doing really well.

A lot of students we talk to aren’t happy with their situation, but also aren’t willing to put in time or energy to learn new things to change their situation; I was curious about what made Connor change his mind from ‘no’ to ‘I’m open and will give it a real try’. 

It was the fact that we told him IF he showed up, learned some new stuff and actually used it, he’d start feeling and doing better in two weeks or less. 

The big thing for me was being told to give it two weeks and I’d see results. I wasn’t gonna wait 8 weeks. And yea, after 2 weeks I could see results and that helped me mindset wise. I was noticing I wasn’t forgetting assignments or doing stuff last minute, it really went to time management for me. The calendar was one of the first things and I could see everything I had to do –  the whole week, month and year – and it was a stress reliever. It was a weight lifted off my shoulders from having to remember a busy schedule in my head. I didn’t have to remember anything.

What’s more, his relationship with his Mom changed pretty fast and for the better –

I hated my mom talking to me about school. We haven’t legitimately talked about school outside of our twice per week Terms of Engagement conversation since Komo. It used to be always about school, what’s this grade, what’d you do today…now we don’t argue and she’s not nagging me. They trust me to get it done and they know I will and I know I have it.

I asked Connor overall what he feels is different now that he has tools to learn and manage himself and his work –

Now I feel stress free. I have to emphasize that. It’s easier to go about your day and not be worried about things you have to do. And I have more free time. I don’t forget to do things, I get things done earlier, not last minute so I can do what I want more after school, especially Fridays.

Connor’s story will resonate with a lot of you and is especially recommended listening for your teen if they’re in middle school. Tune in here.

If you want help making sure your kid gets the skills they need to set themselves up for success, let’s talk. Click here for a quick chat with my team to learn more about how we work with our families or click here to see if you’re a fit for our flagship 8-week program (if so, the link to apply is at the bottom of the doc).

Connor’s story is full of gems, but perhaps the #1 thing to takeaway is that your child – regardless of what has happened in the past or what’s happening right now – is one decision away from less stress, more free time and no more fighting with you about school. In as little as 2 weeks 🙂

Cheers to that!


PS if your kid is sick and tired of struggling and you’re sick and tired of watching them struggle, this is me reaching out my hand to help – take it! A simple conversation can be the first step that changes everything.

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