Monday, March 6, 2017

Teach Your Children Well

Today, we need to equip our children to handle the world as it is now. We need to teach them to be prepared. I've heard people complain that the parents today aren't even teaching their youngsters to cook and sew. Many of them barely know how to do this today. Why? Well, with the economy the way it is, many are working more and more hours. Quite a few parents are working two jobs to put food on their table, a roof over their heads and to pay the bills. The weekends are filling with sports teams and other extra-curricular activities.

A lot of the education that is needed by the youth of today is not covered in school at all these days. Most of the classes that are offered today and based on the idea that everyone is going to go to college. Seriously, how many of you ever use that algebra that you had to take? How many of you can still speak the foreign language classes that you had to sit through. We need to offer shop classes, we need to teach them self-esteem, we need to teach them to cook and sew, we need to teach them to balance a budget. We need to teach them that they are individuals and that they are worth it!

Please don't get me wrong here. I think there are many teachers that are worth their weight in gold and beyond. I also think there are many teachers that aren't worth the space that they take up in the world. I've had school administrators tell me that they know the teacher doesn't teach, but hey - they only have so long until they hit mandatory retirement so just deal. Really? My one daughter had a teacher back in 3rd grade that yelled at my daughter because she was reading a 6th grade level book. We don't read them at this level. So, while at home she read much more advanced books, in school, she was stuck reading "See Spot Run". It bored her to tears. We had another teacher for my daughter that was a math teacher. You have to teach your children the times tables yourself because I don't have time to teach any of that. No - they only had time to teach how to take a test so the school could get funding! Ridiculous!

While I was having a hard time just having enough to pay the bills, I had to hire tutors to help teach my girls the basic 3 Rs that my generation had to learn back in elementary school. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. (OK, so the 3 Rs were phonetic - but again, many today wouldn't even grasp that concept!) So, why are our kids so ill-prepared? We don't teach them in our schools what is needed. We make excuses for our children. We cover up for them and do our best - sometimes it's good enough, sometimes it isn't.

Today, we have many parents that were never taught any of the 3 Rs when they were younger - yet, we expect those parents to teach it to their children. How? By osmosis? How many never learned how to change a tire? How many never learned about basic car repairs? How many haven't learned how to balance a checkbook? Do you know basic building skills? How many are taught that no matter what they are going through, that they are worth it?

Technical schools need to be encouraged for many. While there are some, in this country, it is expected that you will go to college. Trade schools are looked down upon. Really? Not everyone will become a scientist, etc. Many will end up working as laborers. No, they weren't taught any of that in school. They had to learn on the job - at pay levels that would leave the person living in poverty while they worked to learn a trade.

How about we make a schooling system that actually teaches our children real life needs. Yes, some will do wonders in college - some won't. Some will have others that have the time time to teach them to cook and sew. Some won't. So, when they are out on their own, many will live on fast food and take-out food. They really have no clue how to do so much. Yes, many will be self-taught and that is fine. But, why aren't we teaching the youth today to do this?

I think the entire educational system in the USA needs a complete overhaul. Let's go back and put music in the education system, instead of cutting it to a bare minimum - if even that. Let's get the art programs back in our schools. Let's get home economics back into the schools. Let's get the trade programs back into our classrooms. Yes, we need the 3 Rs and we need to teach life skills to our children. If we want our children to have the self-esteem to survive in this world, we need to offer them more than we are. We can teach them so much more than we are. Let's work together and offer them basic living skills. Let's teach them to survive in this world.