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Try, Fail, Repeat…

Our goal is to make the process of mastery a deeply ingrained habit in our children’s life. 

If we make learning mostly about excellence where there are “winners” and “losers,” we encourage dabblers, quick fix artists who move from one dalliance to another.  Hurrying from station to station to get to the destination with no joy during the journey. If we make mastery a deeply ingrained habit, excellence is a natural byproduct, as hard work makes a difficult skill look easy to the average mortal. True masters pursue a goal for something much deeper than the cheap thrill of beating someone else. They achieve their best, feeling a high from their hard work that anyhting less will never be enough nor make them feel as good. Therein lies the real treasure. (Excerpt from Laura Sandefer)

I've seen children want to quit because the seemingly mundane practice, the plateau, and the dips can be so deeply frustrating, pointless, and rather boring. In fact a few of our Learners have left ROA because the work became too hard and being an independent Learner within a community of high accountability was not something many children are ready for. These uncomfortable and unfamiliar experiences are the beautiful opportunities for the deepest and most profound learning moments for those who have persevered and remain with us still.

We have one particular Learner who has struggled with Math for years. After years of grueling practice and of just getting by, aha moments had occurred -greater understanding unfolded and flourished into wanting to go back to previous problems just to make sure every concept had been mastered and understood. Another Learner who had stumbled and failed to earn his badges last session on the brink of despair and finding things to blame for his situation who came back this new session with an attitude of giving it his all to avoid the repeat from his past failure. Not just completing challenges but surpassing what's expected, going above and beyond. The feeling of elation clearly evident in him. This great fire of learning had been lit in both Learners and anything less than mastery could never satisfy them again. These moments are what make the hard work, the challenging humps and bumps along the road worth the pain and heartaches. When a challenge is no longer difficult when deep understanding and mastery has been achieved...that's what creates a life changing heart for work-giving their all, trying, failing over and over again. With this perseverance forging deeper skills, habits, and character is formed which is much more important than sorting winners and losers – it’s the difficult and important task of our children reaching the greatest potential of who they are to become.

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