How Peer Pressure Can Be Good

Since we live in a small town that lacks a true class system in the schools (at least for now), my kids are more or less friends with everyone in their classes. After school, though, they have some specific friends they play with quite often, mostly because they are in the neighborhood (although in a small town like this, no one is more than a mile away unless they live in the country).

I know my son’s little after school “group” quite well. There’s the boy across the street who he’s known since preschool (they are in 2nd grade now), the two boys on either sides of town who seem to wander over in this direction often, and the little girl up the street. Five of them in all who run together on a regular basis, and are all in the same class this year.

My son has always been an excellent reader and fantastic at spelling (where he gets that I’ll never know, since both his dad and I are awful at spelling). Last year he was constantly on the “challenge list” because those regular words were nothing to him. It hasn’t changed this year either, and rarely does he bring home anything but an A+ spelling test.

This week’s spelling list came home on Monday, and I got a good laugh out of what I saw. The review list and challenge words were on the same paper, with a note at the bottom as to who was doing the challenge list this week. Who did I see? All five of the “gang” with a few others. My son and his four best friends all passed their Monday spelling list.

Now he never really talks about it, but I have to wonder if somewhere down the line his little clique has made this into a competition or something popular. I almost wonder if it was my son’s doing, since he can be quite a leader at times (and even when he’s not the leader, he’s never the follower, but out in his own little world – ha!). It could have also been the girl of the group, who’s mother is a teacher in another town, or all of them put together. Who knows. But the fact remains they were all on that list, possibly motivating each other to get them all right.

I just thought that was very cool that he’s found himself a group of friends who care about grades. Quite rare, I think, so I’m very happy. Let’s just hope this continues in grades to come!

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