My Story

Hello – welcome to The Capable Student! My name is Maureen Paschal, and I am the mother of four children. I’ve also been a tutor, a teacher, and a school librarian.

I’ve learned the hard way that teachers don’t always give birth to children who are great students.

Mission of The Capable Student

This website is for every mom who has been frustrated with her kid’s performance in school. It is for the mom who finds herself nagging her kids, and becoming way too involved with their homework. It is for the mom who is sometimes embarrassed with herself for how she spoke to her children about their grades. It is for the mom who wants her children to work to their potential. It is for the mom who wants to enjoy these years before her kids leave for college. It is for the mom who wants to send happy, well adjusted, independent young adults to college. It is for the mom who knows how important school and grades are and wants the best for her children.

My Story

When it came to my kids’ grades, I’m embarrassed to admit that I was a nagging mom…and a yelling mom…and a bribing mom…and a threatening, disappointed, frustrated mom. I was sometimes even an ecstatic mom, and these different versions of me could materialize all in the same week, or even the same 4-mile car ride home!

How ridiculous.

Why was I pressuring my kids this way? It was because I was wrongly equating my kids’ performance at school with my worth as a parent. As a result, I was hurting my children and ruining our family life. I was making school so pressure-filled that they weren’t enjoying it and were actually performing worse academically.

I knew I had to change or run the risk of ruining my relationship with my kids, and so…I changed. My husband and I talked about our true goals for our children, and while succeeding in school remained a priority, we added contributing to the well being of our family and society and and growing to become functioning adults capable of thinking and working on their own.

Our oldest son is in law school now, and our two younger sons are in college, and they can function without me! They were the kids showing their classmates how to do laundry, how to order a pizza, and how to ask a professor for help. Our daughter is self-directed, and self- motivated when it comes to school, and possesses the self esteem that comes from true accomplishment.

So, how did this transformation take place? I decided to treat my children like I treated the students I tutored. I gave them compassion and respect. We scheduled sessions for me to tutor them in how to become a capable student, with the rest of our family time reserved for being a family. Gone were the stressful dinners when I would conduct cross-examination on upcoming tests, quizzes, or projects or rant about how they would never get into a good college if they didn’t do better at school. Now we talk, and we laugh…a lot.

You can put school in a better perspective at your house, too. Your children can do well academically and grow into self-sufficient young men and women. You can lead the way. You can be your kids’ tutor. You don’t have to be a geometry whiz or an English major; I will show you how, and along the way we can laugh…a lot.

In the interest of full disclosure… I would  like you to know that my views are my own, and in no way represent the views of my employer.