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Responsibility 'R Us
One of the things that saddens me the most about schools is how much they usurp from parents. They teach sex ed. They teach character. They teach morals and values and hygiene and health, things that were once the purview of the home. And they teach the basics in ways that we parents never learned them, making it very hard to help with homework.

It's easy for a parent to feel that he or she is not qualified to teach anything at all. We should leave it to the schools. We provide the nurturing and the physical care, and the schools provide everything else.

We homeschool, but I think this is the way society is trending.

And we as parents need to realize that much of what the school teaches is counterproductive. What do kids learn in the playground? Being popular matters. Brand names matter. Being cool matters. None of that is true as an adult in the way it is as a child, but it is taught nonetheless.

But Joanne Jacobs argues that schools also teach kids to be unemployed.


In a recent survey urban middle school students were asked the questions, “How many times can you be late (or absent) in a month and hold a regular job?” Over half the students responded you could be late as often as you had a good excuse. Almost half responded you could be absent any time you had a good excuse.

They believe they deserve a second, third, fourth and fifth chance after making mistakes. They’re never accountable for their actions.

Many urban youth not only believe that a good teacher can make you learn but that s/he can always make it fun as well. Naturally, every effort should be made to make as many things as pleasant as possible, interesting, and certainly engaging for students. But fun cannot be the ultimate standard for judging the work of teachers. Students frequently must learn hard and complex things. Many of these “things” require memorization, intense concentration, and repetitions which are fatiguing.

If schools accede to and support an ideology that “good learning is always fun,” what do they actually teach students about work? Should good feelings come from having fun activities, or should one be taught to feel good by accomplishing things?


Then kids leave school and no employer will put up with the attitudes these kids have.

So it all comes back to us. Do we realize that our purpose as parents is to raise independent, godly adults, or do we think our purpose is to make sure our kids have fun and enjoy the early years? I'm not saying responsibility can't be fun; I'm only saying our priorities have to be correct.

Kids need to do things they don't like (like practising piano; my daughter is very grumpy right now about that). They need to learn to clean. And they need the TV off during dinner hours. Life does not revolve around them, and if we moms try to make sure that our kids' lives are endlessly happy, we're actually doing them a disservice.

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5 Comments:

At 8:31 PM , Blogger Jenny said…

That is the truth, we don't homeschool but do try to make sure the girls understand that they have to work hard. We are never late for school because if I can't get them there on time, why would they think they need too?

Great post!
Jenny

 

At 10:14 PM , OpenID runningtherace said…

I have enjoyed looking through your site. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Also, I love the title. Just great! God bless.

 

At 10:39 PM , Blogger Angie said…

Some really great points!

I think that, unfortunately, as the schools have taken over teaching some of the things you mentioned, many parents have just abandoned trying to teach those things, leaving it up to the schools. Like a horrible little cycle, you know? It's really sad.

Oh...and I totally know what you're saying about the schools sometimes teaching things in crazy ways. We have had a few times where my husband and I can't figure out how to do our second grader's math. It's not that the math is too hard, but it's so confusing how they are doing it. And, this is from father who is the manager of an engineering department and a mom who has degrees in both elementary education and special education. It's just crazy!

 

At 10:50 PM , Blogger Wifey said…

Great post. A few of my tennis teamates and I were talking about this very topic yesterday; and how important it is to stay active at your child's school so that they know you are there and involved.

We recently implemented no TV for our kids Monday - Thursday. Instead they do 30 minutes reading time, my oldest has homework and then amazingly they actually find something creative to do when TV is not an option. We're also teaching them that they have to earn the Gameboy and the new movies, and all of the fun stuff that they want with good behavior, good grades and soon with chores, too!

 

At 7:03 AM , Blogger Terry said…

Amen, Sheila! It seems that requiring our kids to do hard things is viewed as some sort of crime in most circles. They need to learn to be responsible. It won't damage them psychologically. On the contrary: it will prepare them for real life. Great post.

 
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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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