Back to school...hoping for a stimulating, challenging, well-rounded 2010/11.
Change is good. But the changes in our education system are worrying, to say the least. I have no idea what I have spent so far in getting ready for another school year. Naturally we had to make an extra visit to Staples today because something was missing out of our huge bin of school supplies...It turned out that the two notebooks I bought for Science class were a little too small!!! About half an inch all around. Everything else though was the same! When the cashier said, "that will be $21.87"...I was sure he made a mistake - but no...add in the pencils and some lead, and we were there ~ over $20. I told him the entire thing is a scam.
Pencils (what's wrong with the hundred pencils and pens in everyroom of the house?); specifically colored markers for who knows what specific purpose (why a pink high lighter? Why not yellow? Do the manufacturers need to push a certain color this year??); folders and sharpeners, and more special pens....AND THEN, of course, the backpacks, clothes and other accessories. It is all so loud! And too much all around.
Education (for most of us, particularly in America) is what takes us forward into our future. It is our foundation for wild hopes, dreams, goals and our expectations. It is in early education we have the chance to find our true wings in order to fly the way we were meant to fly. Unfortunately our natural creative and inquisitive tools and instincts are stifled in an environment that is managed to be boring, sedate, black and white and mediocre. All you can do is pray for a great teacher; even so, their wings have been clipped to some degree as well.
The priorities need to change. Instead of spending so much time on the surface focused on so many minor material aspects of the critical job, the administrators need to learn about and deliver what our kids really need to succeed in this future we are creating today.
We seem to make very poor use of our talents because we are not normally taught how to find them. Our kids need to be the individuals they are, be nourished in enriched, colorful environments where they are pushed to use their creative minds...so that they rise and flourish to the occasion.
So, while they move from here to there at school, when they come home to you, talk with them, listen to them...be creative, help them to think outside of the box...help them look at school from a different angle...ask them pick something from the garden and help you make dinner, or set the table...anything that helps to get their creative minds moving. Fill your home life with the creative conditions your kids sorely need so that they can find their true passions.
It is a terrible thought that we all hang our hats on the linear idea of being born, going to school, going to more school then getting a job. How utterly boring does that sound?! It is all the stuff in-between that can really make a difference. I know, I experienced this first hand. My path was not straight at all...it never has been, and this of course has been due entirely to how my mom and dad brought me up. I don't remember many rules, because there really weren't any, as long as we weren't 'bad'. And when I was bad, my dad would come after me with his belt! I don't remember ever being hit, but I remember running and hiding from him!
I was taught to push the envelope because of the freedom (lack of rules) we had. So I naturally had a great time all my childhood, worked hard from the age of eleven (3 jobs through college), slid-by through school (because I was never there; I was out having fun) and wove a completely zigzaged path!
Sir Ken Robinson spoke at a TED Conference on why he believes school is killing our kids' creativity. He is really funny (in an English way) and easy to listen to. In a follow-up talk at TED again a few years later, he ends by explaining that everyday, our children spread their dreams beneath our feet ~ so we must tread softly.
We need to stop all the loudness and listen for the heartbeat. What do you think? I would love to know.
Click here for Day 39 recipes.