Where did the fun go?

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Hot, controversial topic!

Having once more seen my mercurial grandson finally manage to fix his boisterous (note the “boy” part!)  personality into his official school slot, (as happens every new school year), this caught my eye.

Perhaps I shouldn’t talk about it lest I rant. lol! Being an ex private tutor, homeschooler and even helping start a successful school, I tend to have a lot to say.

Like doctors and vaccines, I made sure my own kids never darkened the halls of a conventional school room. I believe in helping each child find and reach their true potential, that education is for the child not vice verse.

Anyone who feels it’s normal for an active 6-7 year old boy to sit still at a desk for hours evidently never had a 6-7 year old boy! Yet small children love to learn. A fussing baby will frequently stop crying to pay attention when you point and say the name of things. Toddlers will annoyingly ask to watch the same show again and again till they’ve assimilated every word and we all know all about the “why” syndrome. Learning is natural, and kids love it, but school is not (at least not the way it is generally organised).

Perhaps the basic problem stems from the fact that most schools are large institutions run by governments having an agenda to produce a large number of suitably qualified fodder that will fit nicely into the established status quo either as elite (private school fodder) or unknowing servant of the elite (the rest of us).

Of course some unique souls manage to survive the “one size fits all” school factory packaging, becoming artists, inventors, movie stars etc. but they are few and far between. In most, sadly, the flame dies and learning loses its joy.

I speak of course in generalities. My time today is limited by the need to pick up the aforementioned grandson, from the aforementioned institution, and hopefully inspire him to complete his homework so he can successfully jump his SAT hurdles lol! This is a huge subject though. Perhaps you’d like to add your “ten cents”.

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8 thoughts on “Where did the fun go?

  1. Every child should follow their passion and to devote more time to their favourite subjects. Even if teachers and parents tell them to work harder on other subjects they don’t like (hence these happen to be the subjects the children are bad at). Unfortunately, I’ve understood this simple truth after I had graduated.

    • Yes, we all learn in retrospect. I guess if not at school there can be time to do this at home with the right encouragement. Thanks for your feed back, it’s nice to know that others are like minded.

  2. Whether its health or schooling a balance in lifestyle needs to be developed to better accommodate more children and families. “No Child Left Behind” sounds on the surface to be a wonderful concept, but when creativity is sacrificed so that more children can be herded through an educational process the benefits become less significant. Avoiding a bureaucratic system generally produces opportunities for a better (or worse) outcome. It becomes the responsibility of those in charge and their ability to provide superior services that determines the end result.

    • Yes, good points!
      One thing I found was if I could find some thing the child was good at and praised and encouraged that element it gave them confidence to tackle the things they found harder, but that’s hard to do in a large class and indeed you are right, without the bureaucracy it does come down to the quality of individual teachers. My daughter has now expanded the school we started together to four small schools, but its strength lies not only in the methods but the hiring of the right kind of teachers (thankfully she’s a great boss to work for so she can pick and choose.) I wish all children could learn this way.

  3. Government schools s—-! My grandsons aren’t even being taught science or history. Everything is geared to making sure they do well on standardized tests that are tied to funding. The spend half the year testing and the other half studying the test. I homeschooled too and if I can find the energy, I may be homeschooling my grandsons too.

    • God bless you! Tests yes! one of the most useful (if not morally sound) pieces of advice I ever had, when cramming to catch up some needed exams whilst studying full time at college was, “Don’t study the subject, study the test!” It works if you just need the bit of paper but only knowledge of the subject will prove of actual life use. As you say the two are very different. I find with my grandson the truth of the matter tends to be we learn after school the things he should have learnt in school but just floated in one ear and out the other while he was building incredible minecraft creations in his head. God bless home schooling grannies (even if it is only an hour here and ten minutes there they tend to learn more than a whole week of “school”.

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