Friday, January 6, 2017

Alex's ACT And SAT Essay Scores - Perfect


Song:  In The Mirror

Artist:  Yanni




Alex just received the results of his SAT and ACT essays.

Essays often prove the most difficult to get perfect scores in for most students.

As you will see...
both, the SAT, and ACT essays, have multiple categories in which the student must
excel in order to get a perfect score...as he must get perfect scores in each category.

As shown below...
with the SAT essay...
the student must analyze a passage from another author...
and explain how he had effectively argued his point.

For the ACT essay...
the student has to be the author of an effective argument...
generating his own original ideas while fully supporting his position...
using a concise and logical format.


First...
the SAT guide to the categories of scoring.



And this is Alex's SAT essay score...perfect
(a score of 8 is perfect).






Next are the ACT criteria and categories.







And below are Alex's scores for each category, and his overall score...perfect
(a score of 12 is perfect).





Alex's reading comprehension used to be his weakest area.
It is now one of his strengths.

In many of my previous articles...
I had gone over many of the things my wife and I had done to strengthen
this vital area while Alex was young...in detail.

I must also give credit to his middle school teachers...
and to his online high school curriculum.

They had, and continue to stress...
advanced essay writing...
coupled with a lot of practice.

My wife has always gotten Alex plenty of books...
many of which are the classics...
as well as many books on logic and critical reasoning...
and many of which we had Alex read while he was still in elementary school.

However...
once again...
it is Alex's drive to succeed which is the main causative factor 
for all of his successes.  


One of Alex's dreams is to eventually become an author...
not only of texts on math...
but as a fiction writer.

It is because of his dream to eventually get published as an author
that he has improved his reading comprehension and writing skills so much.


I cannot stress this too much...
the key to developing a child's mind is to first develop his inner drive.

To develop a child's inner drive...
you must develop his ability to look into the future...
so he may develop his own dreams for his future.

The most fundamental component of these is to develop his love of learning.

The most important method to do all of these is through
conceptual explanations with prime examples...
then to have him create his own answers
 through guidance from you using the Socratic Method of teaching...
then to practice under your guidance to limit frustration...
until subject mastery is achieved.

All of the above is developed through Positive Reinforcement...
and abundant amounts of expressed praise, love, and affection throughout.


I cannot over stress this very central point enough...
Positive Reinforcement.


Once again...
there are but two basic drives in all sentient beings:

Pursuit Of Pleasure

Avoidance Of Pain


Of these two...
Positive Reinforcement...
while it generally takes longer to achieve a desired result...
but because it develops an inner drive...
it is a vastly superior method...
since once it takes hold...
the child becomes self driven...
even without further reinforcement later in life.


Avoidance Of Pain...
while it teaches rather immediately...
so long as the child thinks future punishment is not plausible...
he will revert to that which is comfortable 
instead of that which is necessary and desirable for the long run.



Now...
there are three basic methods to achieve an end in another...
or in ourselves.


Positive Reinforcement

Negative Reinforcement

Punishment



First of all...
as there are an almost infinite number of ways to do something wrong...
and but only one general way to do something right...
the best way to think is to merely do that which is right..
since you will automatically not do any of which is not correct.

However...
as many falsely believe in using, almost exclusively...
 one or more of the wrong ways to achieve a goal...
I will briefly make a case against the general use of the negatives.


--------

(I had erred earlier.  The revised descriptions are below).

Negative Reinforcement...
is the taking away of anticipated or experienced displeasure 
for the achievement of a desired goal.

How or why a person starts out with displeasure which is not automatically
corrected for, should not be in the realm of childrearing.


----------------

Punishment


Punishment...
is the infliction of pain (physical or psychological)...
in order for him to change his behavior through 
the avoidance of pain avenue.


It can be taking away something desirable if the child behaves in an undesirable manner.

Now...
if you use it to merely not reward that which is directly associated with the goal...
and so, not rewarding mediocrity...
and so, encouraging a false sense of entitlement...
then, yes...
it is correct.

However...
if a child had tried his heart out...
while not giving him the original reward is still correct...
much praise and a smaller reward should be given for his effort...
and your guidance in his future endeavor will show him how to perform better...
and, most importantly, that you truly care.


Now...
where Punishment is often applied incorrectly...
is when something else of high value to the child not directly associated
with his lack of achievement of the goal...is taken.

Why?

Because...it is unjust.

You are teaching him that your word is not sacrosanct.

You are also teaching him that his earned achievements are not his forever...
that they may be easily lost every time he fails.

He will simply stop trying...
as he knows that he shall fail many times in life.

Why would anyone keep trying knowing that he will not be able 
to ever reap what he sows?


By doing so...
you are betraying his trust...
and so, you become unworthy of his trust.


Punishment should never be used as a first response.

It should be used very sparingly and as lightly as possible...
only as a last resort...
when all else fails...
 when the result of continued bad behavior would be deleterious to his future...
and which must be corrected immediately.

It should never be the go to response.

Why not?

Because...
it is the reaction of the lazy, the willfully stupid, and that of the bully.

You will only show him your lack of love and caring...
as well as your lack of intelligence...
and so, you will rightfully lose his respect.

All you will be doing is gaining his fear.
A child living in fear, is one who eventually rebels...
and which is often manifested in self destructive behavior.

Now...
some behaviors warrant punishment.

A child whom is righteously punished...
and of whom had been fairly warned and is given a way out...
will respect the punishment...
and so, you...
so long as the punishment does not involve any sort of humiliation...
especially in front of his peers...or anyone else.

Being respectful of his dignity is paramount.

Also...
this is very important...
it is not the severity of punishment that is effective...
it is the swiftness and sureness of it.

Be as light as possible in all punishments...
and again, only as a last resort.

It shows your love for him.

He will realize that you are merely ensuring he walks the correct path in life.

And...
always remember...
once a punishment is completed...
it is done.

By harping on it...
by bringing it up in the future, is to extend the punishment
beyond that which is productive, or just.

It is merely an attempt to humiliate.
To throw something in someone's face is to lose all trust 
in the implied confidence and forgiveness 
necessary for people to work together in the future.

A person loses all sense of hope with you...
as all trust is broken.

It erases all the good he has done...
as at any moment...
all of his previous missteps in life may be brought up at will
as a means of oppression.

Again...
this is the hallmark of the bully.

Never bring it up in the future.

You must always remember...
if you are to ever be forgiven for your transgressions...
you must forgive others.

This will also teach him what it means to forgive others...
by example.


Okay...
enough of what not to do.

Now...
on to the best way.


-----


Positive Reinforcement...
 is the rewarding of desirable behavior
with a pleasurable experience...
through direct association.

When used for longer term goals...
it develops Deferred Gratification.

When greater pleasure is directly associated
 with the achievement of longer term goals...
of foregoing immediate pleasure for greater returns later on...
Deferred Gratification is developed and reinforced.

Once Deferred Gratification is realized as a greater path in life...
a child learns to dream of great things in life...
of his end goals to achieve.

He learns the true meaning of 'You reap what you sow'.

Instead of seeing learning as a chore...
he is excited to learn as much as possible...
as he realizes that he is planting seeds of his future fruiting trees...
and of which he may harvest in the future...
and which will sustain him on his journey to his long range goals...
(as organized through Reverse Planning...a concept I had explained in an earlier article)...
and so, he will have established his Drive.

He will realize that by generalizing these attributes in all things in life...
life then becomes simple...and highly rewarding.

He will see that he is on the correct path in life...
a Positive Spiral.

A child on a Positive Spiral...
sees life getting constantly better the further up his spiral he goes.

He is rewarded by the fruits of his previous sowing...
and he looks forward to his future since he is continually sowing.

Life continually becomes sweeter...
as he knows that what the future holds for him...
shall continue to be filled with ever greater rewards.

He will continually strive forth with an earned confidence and pride.

After having achieved his most treasured goals...
whenever he looks upon his past with great satisfaction...
he will then realize that he had become the king of his mountain...
and the master of his realm.

All of life becomes sweet...
vibrant colors and great pieces of music are everywhere.

A person's senses come alive as he feels every note of the music of the mind...
and of every color and shape he sees.
Food takes on a flavor not just felt and experienced throughout the mouth...
but throughout the body.

A person will even come to feel the deliciousness of every breath...
and he will be able to relive each of these moments at will...
in the movie of his mind.

He will know the experience of the magic of love, and so...
that of life.

This is the path to Nirvana...or Heaven.

Only...
it lies in our lifetimes...
and it is of our doing...
 in the here and now...
and in our future.

We each must be responsible for our lives.

As we have but one relatively short life to live...
it is we who must conscientiously guide our lives.

If there is someone else to blame...
there is no shame for self wrought behaviors...
and so, no need to change.

If there is someone else to praise...
there is no true self pride...
and so, no need to guide our own lives...
as someone else is expected to guide you.

It is very simple...
we each reap what we sow.

Live by it...
and you will truly have lived a life worth living.





















2 comments:

  1. Alex's essay scores on the SAT and ACT are especially impressive knowing that reading comprehension had been a weak area for him. He certainly embodies the positive spiral that you write about. Congrats to Alex, and to you and your wife for helping to teach Alex this path.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alex has improved tremendously over this past year. He learns from his previous successful essays, and then remembers and uses them as a template for his future essays. He also improves from his past mistakes. He is also improving each aspect of his life by generalizing the methods of his successes and then applying them to everything else. This is the essence of true learning.

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