TO LEARN OR NOT TO LEARN
There is no question that most American parents who have children of “school-age” are very concerned about what sort of education they receive. In past essays and conversations I’ve often mentioned that every child on Earth is “home-schooled” in the sense that all their primary sensory experiences be they emotional, physical or intellectual are learned in their home environment–the faculty primarily consisting of immediate caregivers like parents and colleagues like siblings.
HEADLINES READ: “ANOTHER SCHOOL SHOOTING”–WHAT’S GOING ON?
The knee-jerk reaction to the current epidemic-like rash of violence in schools in that past couple of decades has been to blame the availability of weapons like guns, addictions to drug substances, excessive use of internet social media for awkward adolescents making bullying all the more callous, et cetera. In my humble opinion, I believe the issue may be as complex as the one unfolding in the environmental/agricultural circles regarding CCD and the fate of the honeybees.
For instance, did anyone happen to catch the little bit of research data released to the Associated Press (compiled and explained by Philip Elliot) that printed in papers like my local Palm Beach Post today? You can look it up yourself by “15% of U.S. youth idle, report says” and at a link like this http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/youth-unemployment_n_4134358.html
All of these factors and more that I’m leaving unlisted can overwhelm us to the extent that we don’t know what to do first: complain to our government and educational institutions or just yank our kids out of school and move to a semi-utopian place like Costa Rica.
BASICS FIRST AND FOREMOST
I was in the throes of the “baby blues” during the early months of my firstborn in 2008 when I came across a book or article (real fuzzy memory of that time for obvious reasons) that noted what all first-time parents/caregivers need to keep in mind as the single most important thing you can do for your newborn: LOVE THEM. It turns out that starting with this basic but profound intention will in turn help everything else fall into place when taking care of your offspring.
Loving your child(ren) will help you get attuned to their needs–especially as they grow and approach the ages that our society and American government deem as the appropriate age to start an academic education. The blessing of the year 2013 and beyond is that we live in a time of continuous progress in information technology that has drastically altered our home lives, professional careers and the overall commerce of the world in general–the effect that it has on what we consider education is so revolutionary that many of us haven’t grasped or accepted the fact that we all need a re-education of what “education” truly means.
In short, if you are a parent/caregiver today of persons of minor ages, you have a vast array of options as to how you conduct/delegate your child’s education to help them grow into individuals who will be able to think for themselves and give back to not only their family units and local communities but hopefully the world population as well. Yes, I understand that for many options may be limited because of social and economic status–however, in America, it really isn’t an excuse when it comes to pursuing what is best for your child if you are involved one way (like homeschool choice, virtual schooling) or another (public schooling, magnet program seeking, charter school grants, etc).
RANDOM READING AND HOPES
I truly mean to encourage others that education for our children really shouldn’t be such a stressful topic. They need love and honesty from us: when my 5 year old asks me countless questions and there’s inevitably one I can’t answer then I admit that’s the case and take him along to find out the answer (hint: “google” or “Siri” needn’t always be the one to go to, it’s good to take them to find the answer in other ways too).
Best wishes to all and I hope you can feel empowered by all the information available to you and your families as you navigate what’s the best path for your children’s education–also that you can find peace as that path can and may change more than you’d like to experience. But then again, as our children learn we can learn more as well and that’s the best way to stay truly human and living in the now.
P.S. for those interested in some alternative views on education beyond the confines of Common Core or whatever the latest standard is and will be for public education curriculums:
“Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling” by John Taylor Gatto