3 things I want my kid to learn at school but worry he won’t

I loved the academic part of school as a kid. My son doesn’t always. I am struggling with the gap: Is it our family’s fault for not providing the right structure? Is it a maturity thing? Is it the school’s problem? These are the questions that keep me up at night sometimes. Here’s my wish list for September, regardless:

1. It’s okay to be a boy
Before I had a school-aged child, I have to tell you that I would have called articles like this one over at TIME, School Has Become Too Hostile to Boys, fear-mongering. Now I’m not sure.

2. Hard work doesn’t have to be torture
I think our schools are reasonably good at giving kids the message that learning is fun (some of the time anyway), and that sometimes you have to sit down and do your homework. What we’re not always great at is connecting the two.

I totally get that it is hard for a teacher to be up on each child’s interests, but my son’s approach to work when he understands why he’s learning something, or how it connects to, say, grocery shopping, is much different than when he is handed a worksheet.

I also worry that homework is ruining our lives, but that’s another post.

3. Not everyone learns the same way…and that’s okay
My son learns best with his hands: Moving objects around, writing about things that are right in front of him, acting out stories with Lego people. School doesn’t always support that, even in areas like math where I think manipulable objects are great for almost all kids.

Of course I don’t share these concerns with my just-about-8-year-old. Instead I focus on the things we control, like the great life lessons we chose for our downloadable notes, below. And maybe that’s something I need to learn: Focus on the positive.

What do you hope your child learns at school this year?

Download the notes below (larger versions) right here!

 

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  • deb_gib

    You are so lazy. School is much different than the school we experienced as kids. It’s time for families to close the gap their kids may be finding in public school. If at all possible put your kid in private school. The standards are higher across the board and the responsibility is placed where it should be : with the child and more importantly with the parents (ext. fam.) My nephew went to 10 years of private school. As a person he has a very “laid back” personality, never in a hurry, nothing was ever a big deal. His parents were both “type A” personalities with very successful professional careers. Their expectations were high and private school was the only way their son would learn to compete. As a “one and only” his life was bound to be pretty easy -his parents were determined to have him “turned on” by school not just let him wander through w/o picking up the fundamentals of education.
    If you aren’t prepared to put your kid in private school then get him involved with one of the learning centers (Kumon is one). You are very foolish if you leave your son’s education up to the poorly paid, overworked , bitter public school teaching staff. Times have changed and your kid needs much more help to acquire a successful future than he will receive from public school and your feeble attempts at ‘helping’ him.

    • http://www.canadianliving.com/ Jennifer Gruden

      Thanks for your comment Deb. I agree that many parents do find public school frustrating for a variety of reasons; I’m not sure I would agree completely with your characterization of the public school staff. All your solutions are really viable ones for families that have the money (and in some cases, the time) available. Stay tuned for more discussion about this as the school year progresses.