Today I’m doing the proud Dad post. My daughter recently did extremely well in a maths exam. To be honest it was a bit of a surprise to us we hadn’t seen her progress. I think that’s the same for many of us we don’t see our child’s progress until someone else mentions how much they have grown/changed and what they have achieved
I think her achievement was down to two things: one, she is good (biased father speaking here) and, two, she put in the effort. When I say effort, I mean she worked consistently at home for about 15 minutes each day. She likes technology, and so we used an online maths practice program to help her. Debra was instrumental in devising a home program that complemented the school’s maths class, and our daughter did the rest – after teenage groans of course.
Persistence was the key. A little every day. Small steps. Some days she didn’t seem to get any further than the day before. But all her work added up.
To be really good at anything, according to Malcolm Gladwell, takes 10,000 hours. With 10,000 hours most people can become in the top 3 or 4 percent of anything. To become expert in anything takes persistence and dedication. 10,000 hours is the entrance fee.
I’m not suggesting that my daughter spent 10,000 hours on her maths. 10,000 hours is 59 weeks without sleeping! Over a year. I never said my daughter likes maths that much. But I think Gladwell’s point is that with persistent effort, results come. The old saying, genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.
This theory gives me hope that my daughter can achieve other great things too. We’ve all experienced how with practice at some things our children get better at them. Maths is one thing, but if my daughter puts the same effort and dedication in to learning to cross the road (as she is), then she will learn this eventually. Likewise with cooking, with household management (washing, ironing, cleaning etc), with things that will become paid employment. Hope is where we place it, and with hope, we can move forward.