It’s been a while since we’ve tackled a controversial topic here at the Ignorant Historian, hasn’t it? Well, let’s dive right in!
You may have heard already, but President Obama has said this weekend that he wants schools to be open longer: longer school days and longer school years.
In some ways, I agree with him. It bugs me that the local school district here is open for the minimum numbers of minutes and the minimum number of days. To me, that just screams, “We’re only doing this if we have to…if we could get by with it, we’d be open even less.”
I DO think that we’re not doing a great job educating our children. That’s why what he’s saying resonates with me. But I think that it just might be the wrong approach; the federal government once again stepping into the role that the parents have abdicated.
To be honest, it really bugs me that the federal government is involved in education at all. As a citizen, of course the President and other elected officials (on the federal, state, and local levels) have a right to voice their opinions on the matter. But the decisions should be made on the state and local levels. More importantly, parents need to make those decisions for their children and remember that it is their responsibility to educated and train up their children.
Of course, at this point, you might be thinking, “Well, that’s all well and good, but she doesn’t have children! She doesn’t know how it is!” And of course, you’d be right. Though I haven’t had the privilege of having children to call my own, this is still a passionate subject to me since I regularly work with children myself. I do know it’s possible, because that example was set for me.
I went to a public school growing up, but my mom didn’t leave my education to that. She read to my brother and I nightly from chapter books (I believe this is the number 1 best thing she did to encourage us to love reading, a vital skill of a lifelong learner). She reviewed our textbooks at the beginning of the year so she’d know what we’d be learning. She took us to the library. She required us to keep up and continue to develop our skills in the summer by spending about an hour a day on workbooks, flashcards, educational computer games, and other activities. She took us on fun field trips where we could learn while having fun. Both my mom and my dad took many opportunities to teach us through everyday situations.
So, while children do need more than 7 hours of education 180 days of the year, that just might be enough time in school if the students weren’t receiving all their education during that time. Sadly, that’s often not the case.
Parents, please step up. You have been given a blessing, but with that blessing comes incredible responsibilities.
Photo by digicla