The struggle

I received this comment yesterday from the mother of an online student:

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your encouraging comments that you send along with my son’s corrected homework.  He has worked very hard over the past couple weeks.  Since this is his first year of high school, the workload has dramatically increased and he is learning how to manage his time.  We have had many talks about putting in the effort the first time for better results.  Latin has been a tremendous boost to his self-confidence partly because he receives feedback from someone other than his mom!  You have a real gift.

– Kim

Here is my reply:

I can usually tell when a student is in a tailspin.  Your son was clearly struggling for a while.  When this happens to most of my students they rarely recover.  Most quit.  I hate it.  But, it happens all the time. 

A minuscule amount of my students do what your son has done.  In fact, his is one of the most dramatic turns I have seen.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you (and him) that I am very impressed.  He has certainly risen to the challenge.  

I consider Algebra and Latin academic bullies.  If your son can take hits from Latin, stagger, get back up, and knock Latin down, then there is little that will intimidate him academically.  Once you have climbed Everest, everything else looks like a hill.  Latin is a mental Everest.  

Your son staggered for a while.  But, lately, he has demonstrated true fortitude.  You should be proud.