The purpose of schooling is to teach our children to learn and produce quality work. In order to accomplish this goal, our schools must re-think the ways in which they view the educational process.
People don’t get better at dealing with unhappiness, failure and disappointment because they were deliberately exposed to difficulties as youngsters. To the contrary, it is one’s experience with success, affirmation and unconditional acceptance that helps kids deal constructively with later frustration and failure.
Competition in schools is used as a method to motivate students. However, competition is not a very effective academic motivator, particularly for young students at the elementary and middle school level; if it was, we would have more students experiencing success.
Now that we are close to the end of our first six weeks as a first grade family, I feel confident in sharing with you some of the shocks and secrets of entering what I now consider to be “real school”: first grade.
Psychologists at Harvard University have found that five-year-olds are able to grasp numeric abstractions and arithmetic concepts even without the formal education or language to express this knowledge in words. The discovery of these inborn skills among preschoolers could point the way to new teaching techniques, making arithmetic easier and more pleasant for elementary school children.
Knowledge is an expensive business. Every year, schools are faced with the dilemma of either using out-of-date and worn textbooks, or dipping into their budget and purchasing new and expensive ones. A similar scenario exists for college students. Just as schools are pinched for money, poor college students wrestle with purchasing either a used, older edition textbook, or spending two to three times more on a brand new updated edition.
As summer comes to an end, many parents are gearing up to send their children back to school. Going back to school introduces many new dynamics into home life. The family has to adapt to a new time schedule, new costs (school supplies, clothing, and food), and new emotional ups-and-downs experienced by their children at school.
Even some elite colleges employ literature-based learning. Their tools are the Great Books; their principal technique, discussion. The Literature School is not only a successful school, it is the ideal multi-grade family school. Books can be read aloud together, with each child processing the information on his own level.