Troubled Kids and the Importance of Noble Character, Positive Attitude, and a Skill Set (3 Pursuits)

Monday, December 24, 2012
Six years and running, I've been privately studying philosophies and methodologies of education. Also working in different fields of education. I home-schooled a group of three awesome kids; 7, 11, and 14. I was employed by LearningRx. My job, Cognitive Skills Trainer, can be summed up as exciting and intense one-on-one coaching. My time assisting Ms. Lynne in the Banyon Room at a private Montessori school in Jupiter was fulfilling and interesting. The Montessori philosophy has a lot of strong points. Last to mention, I started a private tutoring company called StudyWorks, which flopped around for a three year period. It evolved mentally into Jupiter Mentorship, which is still on but only in my mind.
I've spent a lot of time dreaming of Jupiter Mentorship, an academic mentorship agency for kids and their parents; many devoted hours in planning and formation as well. I have a lot of notes. That's for sure. The idea is to help the parents and kids relate harmoniously during difficult times of academic struggle on the part of the student/child. And difficult times of parental exasperation.
For some its a rich and creamy relationship. The kids do their homework, score well on tests, are proactive and organized with their extracurriculars, and charm socially.
Then there were the kids like me. I walked on the wild side. With friends and by myself, I raised a ruckus; flipped off Mrs. T at the Kings Academy in seventh grade. It led to my first of three expulsions from two different private schools. The King's Academy is a Baptist school in West Palm Beach. We Baptists do not tolerate that crap from kids.

Jupiter Mentorship, in my mind, is built upon three foundational ideals: Character, Attitude, and Skills. They are the 3 Pursuits; noble character, positive attitude, and a skill set.
I received a call last week from a mom wondering if there was hope with her sophomore son. He attends Suncoast, renowned for rigorous academics. The boys problem is motivation. He plays volleyball five days a week, but according to his mom he even does that half-assed. O boy can I relate. So can my mom.
She called me because I was a positive influence on her daughter. That was two years ago. She was my student at LearningRx. I recognized her strengths. Together we worked on developing them. She was proficient with memory and imagery. I challenged her weaknesses as well. Quite a bit actually. Mostly we worked around her strengths. And with the great cognitive skills program at LearningRx she progressed as a person. She felt good about herself.
My former student's mother called me to talk about working with her son. I ran into her a year ago and gave her a business card for Jupiter Mentorship. She held on to it. Her son lacks motivation. He is getting an F in government. He is smart, witty, fun to be around. However not interested in the subjects he's studying in school and half-assedly interested in volleyball. He likes cars and hanging out with his skateboarding buddies.
I spoke to her about the possibility that marijuana use is a factor. I encouraged her to not freak out on her sixteen year old son. If she becomes privy to the knowledge that her 16 year old son is smoking dope, she'll push him away with harsh judgement. But to do her best to put herself in his position and find out the reasons he might choose to use marijuana.


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