The days of sending our children off to the “experts” with faith that they will learn life skills and gain academic training are over! Family life is in flux, and we parents have been caught off guard. After four generations of a systematic approach to life, in which kids go off to school and parents go about their work to meet up again in the evenings, we have begun to question why our children aren’t thriving. Even if they are making “the grade”, something is off in our family life, in our children’s hearts and minds…
Adults are shocked as we watch our younger generation lose more and more of their way. It’s a sad day when a parent compliments your teen on being able to hold a conversation with an adult simply because the norm is the opposite and the standard is such that a decent conversation is unexpected. Even looking each other in the eye is not likely to happen. We are starting to question whether the way our children spend their days is more detrimental to their development than we ever could have imagined.
“When our babies were born, we held them close to our hearts, and said we would do anything to protect them. We never thought we’d have to protect them from the ongoing decline in the quality of education.”
Families are being bombarded with tough choices in most departments of life and especially where their children’s education is concerned. I speak daily with parents who are considering taking back responsibility for how their children are taught and the way they spend their days. The most common concern I hear is that these parents aren’t confident they have the skills necessary for creating a learning environment or being a voice for action. They never imagined they would have to confront experts about educational approaches within the system or be the sole provider of education and character development!
If society is a reflection of family life, what does it mean when we see our whole culture going through a complete all systems shift? It means something is off at our core and unfortunately it’s the family and the youngest of us who are getting caught in the tides of change.
When did it become a deeply held cultural idea that children need other “experts” besides their parents to manage their education and daily schedule? Is it true that the experts know more about what is best for our children than parents? And what’s a parent to do when the experts disagree with each other on the best approaches to education and development? Those of us who left the school system years ago are used to looking outside the box for answers and creating new leaning and living models that work for whole brain, heart and soul development.
It’s easy for us to suggest that instead of fighting for sustaining a model that is increasingly dysfunctional and counterproductive, why not embrace the change and create a new educational standard?
The clock or custom doesn’t have to be the determining factor in how we spend our time. When I explain the simplicity and effectiveness of not plugging into after school activities, homework, or even home schooling to families conflicted with the decision of whether or not to bring their children home, they can’t seem to get out of the 9 – 5 mentality that separates them from their children. Parents can’t conceive that they themselves have the answers to what is best for their kids. Yet, within a few months of making life learning changes, most parents are pleasantly surprised to have discovered that they are really good at being leaders in their home and living outside the box with their children. After all, parents too are in their own natural maturation process. By satisfying their children’s needs to be well educated, parents grow in their understanding and leadership role.
“It can be difficult to get the “simple things” right…. If your children learn how to learn— how to really, truly, deeply learn— you will have accomplished something great. If they also learn how to think— how to creatively, independently, deeply think— and effectively apply what they learn and think, you will have mastered education. Now for the fun part: How does any regular parent who wants to master learning, and build a great home school or public school, go about doing so? Most give up with the words “master” or “great.” ~Olive DeMille, Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning
Millions of families are rewriting how they spend their days together. Whether they continue to use the school system as an educational resource or choose an alternative education route, the result is the same. Their lives are more wholesome and free. It’s the result of a shift in perception that tells us that we, as parents, are still in charge of what our children learn, and how they spend their time. We come to the conviction that “I am the best expert and leader for my children.” Once that paradigm shift is made, the question then becomes, how do we change the educational system to meet our new standards and how do we weed through the smorgasbord of educational choices out there?
That’s where this blog comes in. It’s my effort to offer you a different vision of how your life with your children can be and to offer you a path that millions of others have traveled before you.
You will come to understand that no matter which alternative education you choose, your children will be educated. The way children learn is simple, and it’s classical. In child development circles it is common knowledge that it’s ONLY PARENTS who can lead a child into a love of learning paradigm and instill good character development, not the “experts”!
After two decades in the alternative education world, I have seen so many different scenarios of families living, learning, earning and growing together. I have been witness to parents readjusting their systems and standards in simple tried-and-true universal ways within the home and work world so that each individual within their home can prosper.
The even bigger positive is that as our standards change and we embrace creative solutions, our children grow and our culture as a whole prospers. The old adage of “becoming the change you wish to see in the world” is exactly how one person, in one family can make a positive difference. When we do what is best for our family and our individual children, we change culture from the inside out and once we’re off the educational conveyor belt we find freedom in an un-free world!
Spending our days alongside our children in an alternative education venue or home school or paying attention to what is happening in the school by cautiously reviewing all materials and activities and then being prepared to fight for something better on our children’s behalf may be easier than you think. If millions of others are becoming more self-reliant in their education endeavors, you can too.
“At a time when the American educational system is in crisis and the family is under attack, the tried-and-true principles handed down through the ages are fostering a revival of values like self-reliance, leadership and liberty. As a result, in the alternative educational world the family is being restored to its rightful place as the basic unit of a prosperous and free society. With this, the prospects for American education are looking brighter than ever.” ~A Thomas Jefferson Education www.TJEd.org
I have seen these principles being applied in public, charter, private and home schools with amazing success! And you too can experience a simpler way of managing and raising your family while taking back responsibility for leading and educating your children. My intention for this blog is to inspire you how you can join those millions. ~~:-)p
Source: Florida Citizens Alliance