…now? Not when you grow up, but now?
Growing up is like tomorrow, it’s always a day away but never comes. Whatever you want to do and be in the world, now is the time to do and be it.
The problem with big dreams is that sometimes we think we have our whole life to work on them, so we end up putting them off. It’s a great irony, but sometimes we put our first priorities last.
Instead of deciding you’re going to just get by for now and figure out how to make your dreams come true as you go along, decide that you’re going to make your dreams come true for now and figure out how to get by as you go along.
And if it did, how would we know?
If preparing kids for life is the purpose of school, then these are both important questions to ask.
The most important factor to consider is not what kids know coming out, but how they are primed to engage with things, with ideas, with people, and with society at large. Facts are always changing, and available information is growing exponentially, but the patterns of engagement that we develop going through the process of school are going to stick with us. How much do the typical patterns of engagement in school resemble those that are conducive to leading healthy, happy, productive lives, and that we’d like to see reflected in society at large? This is the real measure of how well school prepares kids for life.
Most parents, I’m guessing, would agree with the title of this post. But what are the reasons this decision is so important? There are many that are conceivable, but in my opinion there is one that is primary.
The decision about how to handle your children’s education is one of the most important influences you will ever have on their opportunities for happiness. It ranks right up there with how to handle a divorce or whether or not to circumcise. If you want to maximize your children’s opportunities for happiness, this is something that deserves a lot of attention.
For a long time the almost universal choice has been to send your kids to the local school and be done with it, and this choice is still popular today. But as the Digital Renaissance picks up speed, the quality and diversity of the educational options available continues to multiply and expand. More and more families continually create varied and individual alternatives to traditional schooling by taking advantage of the free availability of information and the benefits of collaboration.
Tomorrow: an examination of what homeschooling really means.