Tuesday, May 12, 2009

School Girls

Last night we went to dinner at these guys' house. They are the friendliest and sweetest little bugs ever. First grade and third grade are hard work for them just as eighth grade is hard work for Pom Pom. I'm not sure what I think of school. Is it really the "great idea" everyone thinks it is? How much knowledge can we attain and retain in the 17 years we spend in school (counting college in four years AND kindergarten)? What was it like before mankind set education up so formally? I love reading and writing and I'm glad I have a very basic grasp of math. Science is intriguing as well, but now with all the information available to us, do we really need the structure and the stress of the school day? I wish we could think of another way to do it. Families teaching families, adventures filled with new discovery, brainstorming solutions to heart wrenching global problems - all this thinking could be done without school buildings, bullying, mean girls, and teachers that may or may not prize the students. Sometimes, at parent/teacher conferences, I feel ridiculous communicating expectations of productivity. I don't really believe that "getting all your work done" is a key indicator of future success as a contributing human. I enjoy the community of school. I like "thinking together" that way. I like book circles and hearing different and original perspectives. I DON'T like all the competition and the awards for super star student behavior. I guess I like the "being" of school as opposed to the "doing" it has always required. I know, I'm weird. I just don't want the children I love to make unnecessary adjustments to a tired, old system of learning that isn't fueling their eternal hearts and minds. I do wonder what the schools of the future will look like. Meanwhile, I feel compelled to bathe my cherished favorites in prayers for protection and resilience.


Gigi said...

Oh Pom -- I agree wholeheartedly! As a former teacher, I am very unhappy with our public school system. My daughter has applied for admission to a new charter school for her children, and if they're not accepted, she will begin homeschooling this fall.

Brad said...

Good call. Strange reality we live in, huh? No portion uncorrupted!