Sunday, February 19, 2012

School's Cool

     My wife and I are foster parents and have been for the past four years. We have raised four daughters and now we have two sets of siblings that we have adopted. Let's start with Donald. Donald was in 1st grade when he first came to live with us. Donald is a very smart little boy, but when he first came to live with us he struggled in school and his hand writing was terrible. His parents didn't really get involved in his education and really their attitude was holding Donald back. We have always been very involved in our kids education and really pushed them to give their very best effort. So when Donald, came into our home, we really had to take a step back. It took a couple of months, but once we started working with Donald and letting him know school was important, his handwriting drastically improved and his grades turned around.
      Next came Melonie and Raymond. They too had came from homes where school just wasn't that important. Melonie was in 4th grade and Raymond was in 3rd. They were lucky just to attend class and they had fallen way behind. When they came to live with us, we really had our work cut out for us. We sat down with them nearly every night and worked to try to help get them caught up. Neither of them could write in cursive and their printing was illegible. They have now been with us two years and we are finally starting to see some improvement.
      Our message to them was simply "School's Cool". We put an emphasis on education and showed the willingness to work with them. This was something that they were seriously lacking in their home environment. A lot of people had already given up on them and some actually thought they just weren't capable. By taking an active role in a child's education and working with them you can help them reach their full potential. But if your attitude is one, that you just don't care then the child will develop the same attitude and most likely will struggle.

Chuck Harper


  1. That is sad that they were that behind, but it makes you realize how important it is to work with your children. We can't expect our kids to do well in school if we aren't willing to help them and to make them realize how important it is. I think it's awesome that you were able to work with these kids and help them do better with their schooling!
    -Jordan Howe

  2. Kudos Chuck! We also found while being foster parents that almost every child (36) that came through our home, even if only for a couple of months, did better in school. I beleive it was because someone cared and could be proud of their increase in grades. If they even brought home a D on a paper, we praised them and told them we knew they could do it. We helped them when they were stuck on something, mostly math, but whatever we could help with. We encouraged them to read outloud to us, not alone in their room. I agree that if children see someone cares and has a positive attitude it makes a huge difference in the way a child looks at what they are doing. - Sam Dillé

  3. Children do mimic what they see at home. My husband and I also promoted school in our home. We stressed (and I still do)how important school is to their future. My oldest daughter did not think that was true and did not go to college. She has since seen that we were right. At the age of 24, she is now in college pursuing a Physical Therapy Assistant degree. She realizes now just how important higher education is to a family. My youngest daughter has seen the stuggles of her older sister and does not want that in her life. She went to college right out of high school and is still attending. She wants to be able to support herself and she will. She is on the right track. My going back to college has also influenced the girls. I can see now that stressing the importance of school has paid off.
    Susan Davis