I never understood the educational approach either, having to learn disjointed facts that one day are supposed to miraculously come together in one full smart student. First grade, looking at the second grader right next to me, but that book is censored for me. You must have grade clearance to get to the next level. Never mind that I watched the same TV my parents watched, tinkered at home with the same ideas my parents lived with, and was planning on growing up one day with the same challenges they had.
At the end, I think my educational system with 13 years stunted my intellectual growth. I had my mind set on graduating years earlier that
traditional forecasts, but the teachers were adamant about keeping me entrained to be stupid, just in step with the status quo. Linear thinking is a
killer: stand in line, wait your turn, regard teachers as gurus when they aren't. The material was not the challenge; the adults with the
educational glass ceilings were the problem. I used to cry through school because the learning was so forced, and then as I got older, I suffered
from depression from having meaningless lessons with the teachers taking their jobs for granted. Had they been advising anybody other than children
-- an executive business person perhaps -- they would have been laid off or fired for unprofessionalism. Double standards on age discrimination, all
across the country.
I remember a scene in high school, we were learning some pathetic sentence diagram or something at the front of the class, and a separate teacher was
studying bar code scanning systems on TV in the back on his own time. I learned more that day from what the teachers thought were important to them
than what they thought students had to be force fed that day.
The sooner your son learns this crap and gets it out of his way, the sooner he can grow up. It is old fashioned industrial size brainwashing. It is
only there to employ teachers and keep people in-step with the rest of society, so that young geniuses do not intimidate the older middle class out of
their jobs. If he can cram that information in, dead tyrants from another country, old names for triangles, and more, into one year where it takes
another kid two, let him do it. Just do not foster your son's ignorance of American factoids by rejecting the challenge. Get a tutor, someone who
will dump a pile of college-level stress on him to motivate him to advance. He can teach himself and upstage the teacher. Some days 50 minutes per
lesson is too long, and only serves to pad the teacher's agenda, which is nothing, because teachers are trapped in boxes with kids year after year,
and can't fathom what kids will be one day, and don't care. Ten years after the class, you go back to the teacher who bored you to tears, and look
at where they went: not too far.
The grading is but a status symbol for many students. So just set the goal that other parents set: get straight As, nothing less. Find some success
mentor in your community, an adult, for your kid to observe. Set some goals on what he is going to be when he grows up, not just wants to be, but
something impossible. Tell him he is going to be an engineer when he gets older and hold him to it. Cut out the garbage in his life too: garbage
food, garbage TV screens, garbage friends. High standards get high results.