July 13, 2012

The Right Education

"But the big story here is cultural and moral. If schools want to re-engage Henry, they can’t pretend they can turn him into a reflective Hamlet just by feeding him his meds and hoping he’ll sit quietly at story time. If schools want to educate a fiercely rambunctious girl, they can’t pretend they will successfully tame her by assigning some of those exquisitely sensitive Newbery award-winning novellas. Social engineering is just not that easy.

Schools have to engage people as they are. That requires leaders who insist on more cultural diversity in school: not just teachers who celebrate cooperation, but other teachers who celebrate competition; not just teachers who honor environmental virtues, but teachers who honor military virtues; not just curriculums that teach how to share, but curriculums that teach how to win and how to lose; not just programs that work like friendship circles, but programs that work like boot camp." Honor Code, David Brooks, New York Times, July 6,2012
The above is on target regarding education. The only thing to add is parents must play a role in their child's learning that no one else can fill. It is easier to give your child a pill in the morning than to fix him a wholesome breakfast. In our busy world it is easy to "off-load" responsibility of your child's education to a school, even if it is a private school. I know because I did and regret it. It is great if you can afford to send your child to a private school, but that does not substitute for your personal involvement. Your personal time sends a message that indeed you deem education to be important.

Parents can lose site of how important their role is. At the early ages you are your child's super hero. He adores you. Take advantage of this before he discovers you are human. Every child wants to please their parents. If the child sees that learning is held in high importance by his/her parents, the child will also look at it as something worth his time and something that will win praise from the two most important people in his life. There is no substitute for a parent to spend time reviewing the child's progress in school, handing out praise in big bunches and rolling up his sleeves and helping/coaching when needed. It does not need to be allot of time, 30 to 60 minutes per day. Just Do It!

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