“Success isn’t always about ‘Greatness’, it’s about consistency. Consistent, hard work gains success. Greatness will come.” –Dwayne Johnson
Are you craving something good right now? Something that feels like success? 2020 has been such a doozy of a year that feelings of happiness, achievement, success–anything other than dashed hopes– can seem like a thing of the past.
And yet, here we go, embarking on the start of another school year. And one thing that hasn’t changed? You and the subscribers I cherish so much are all hoping and planning and actively working to ensure a great Saxon math year for your students, despite the challenges of living during a global pandemic. I applaud you and you KNOW that I support you in that!
So I want to encourage you that there is a very, very simple way to ensure achievement this year. It’s called consistency. If you have used Saxon for any length of time you know that Saxon itself is extremely consistent. It may be one of the main reasons the curriculum has turned out such good math students. Every day the student knows what to expect. Nothing fancy. No surprises. Over time, the information is repeated and built on so that there is a solid foundation built by regular effort.
Similarly, a school-at-home approach that embraces consistency, in which everyone knows what most days will hold, is one that will set everyone up for success. Do I hope you’ll have some days that leave you and your kid saying “Wow! That was awesome!”? You know it! But those are special BECAUSE they are rare. They would be exhausting if they happened every day! Consistency, on the other hand, is attainable, do-able, and won’t overwhelm anyone (especially not you, the teacher, amiright?).
I say all this to comfort you. Life is chaos right now. It’s hard to know what to expect. Overwhelmed and worried seems to be the norm, and that’s not good. I’d encourage you: don’t try to force what is likely to be an odd school year, to be rainbows and cupcakes. Those will come, but in my opinion, you’re more likely to see them at the end of the year. They will become apparent in the time AFTER you’ve helped your student knuckle down and do the unglamorous, consistent work, day in and day out, over a prolonged period of time.
Success and greatness are admirable goals. They are worthy accomplishments to reach for. But there are few overnight successes out there. The work to get anywhere meaningful often goes unseen, and it is rarely glamorous. But over time, small efforts done well, every day, add up. Think about those multiple-line addition problems you see kids doing in their lessons. Line after line after line of smaller numbers ends up with a large total.
Your efforts will do the same. Over the course of 120 days of Saxon lessons, lesson practice, and mixed practice problems, your student’s math skills will grow stronger. And stronger. And stronger. Multiply it by years of the same kind of effort and you’ll end up with not just a great Saxon math year, but with a student who possesses infinite potential to accomplish any number of great things. And that, my friend, is how I define success.
My best wishes as you embark on this year! I’m excited to be a part of this journey and can’t wait to hear about the payoffs you see along the way!
Talk to you soon,
Nicole the Math Lady