I heard a former School Superintendent from D.C. on CNN the other night say that our kids are part of the first generation of children who are being less educated than their parents! Well...first I felt a bit of relief because I could simply say, "Not my kids!" However, I then thought of the vast majority of my friends and loved ones who are going to be effected by this ugly truth. Because, the fact is that after the last 132 lessons I've done with my own children, I absolutely believe this statistic to be true and rather scary! There is simply no way that one teacher could cover the material I've covered with 20+ students at once! Not without help.
How are things in our world going to get better if our kids are even dumber than us? LOL I'm being silly, and I don't think our kids (as a collective society) are going to be dumb. But, there is some truth in my jest. We are in such a mess right now and I was hoping that the next generation would be a reliable "plan C" for fixing things if we (the "plan B" 30/40 something parents) can't find a way to do it! Let's face it...the "plan A" group is not doing the best job.
There are lots of theories out there as to why this lack of education is happening. I have a few thoughts myself. One of them being that teachers (I've talked with some) feeling that they are forced to "dumb down" their curriculum because it would be too challenging for some of the kids. I'm all for equal treatment, but it is a sad day when the bar gets lowered for fear that someone will be offended that their child can't reach it. Everyone can't be completely equal in smarts or finances! Someone has to dig the ditches and someone has to do the heart surgery.
Another theory is that it has to do with costs of education. I guess I can understand this, but I'm not buying it. Others think it is because of distractions like video games, computers, TV, etc.
Personally, I think that some societal woes are reeking more havoc than anyone has realized.
There are two main societal problems. One is the broken down family unit. Simple as that. I know several amazing single parents (you know who you are), and I simply don't know how they do it! I cannot fathom being single and working and struggling and then coming home to homework. The divorce rate is astronomically high because of immoral behaviors. I'm in no way saying that no one should get a divorce. I'm saying that so often people make choices that are immoral and subsequently their marriage ends in divorce. To me it shows the kids that you can make very important promises and then break them because of something that is more attractive at that moment. In other words, you do not have to commit and remain committed. To anything. Even one of the most important promises ever! So, why would the kids be compelled to commit to education?
Which brings me to my next reason...materialism. People are too materialistic. I don't care what kind of shoes you wear or car you drive or how big your house is! I want to see families that are good and solid! Whether you live in a shack or a mansion...a solid family is more important. I'm so lucky to be home with my kids. And, I'm not going to lie...I really wish that more moms or dads would make the same choice to be home with their kids. It's a huge responsibility! And in many ways I'm not successful. I don't always lead as a great example. But I try. And, ultimately, I feel that my kids are growing to understand the commitment I've made to them. The same way I look back and remember that my mom made the same choice and Kevin's mom did, too. And again...there I am...back at commitment.
Our kids need to be shown that we should treat one another with respect, but also that it's okay for some people to be neurological surgeons while others contribute to society in another way that happens to require less education. And that in order to do anything well in life, it requires commitment.
Last night Genna, Kevin and I were watching "Father of the Bride" and at the end Genna was crying. I asked her why and she told us "Because, I can't imagine leaving you!" THAT is solid. THAT is richness! THAT is a blessing like no other. She is committed to us! :)