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    Fitting Square Pegs into Round Holes

    By Kristen Houghton     

    The school year draws to a close, children pass all their subjects, and parents breathe a sigh of relief. What more can you ask for?

    Plenty if you’re concerned about their future educational growth. Summertime is the perfect time to think, at leisure, about your child’s education. Begin by asking yourself these questions.

    Your children have passed for the year, but have they really learned anything? Has their curiosity been satisfied; have they been educated or merely “taught?”

    These are important questions with ambiguous answers because the learning process in public education is tantamount to fitting square pegs into round holes. It can be done but not successfully.

    Public education has always had the potential to be a great service, but it is a relatively new idea. It is only since 1870, that all states in the USA are required to provide free elementary schooling to all children.

    But the word “public” means “for the general population.” Your child, like every other one, must pass a certain criteria of planned generalized curricula. Sometimes the lessons are planned simply for the sake of test taking and raising the percentage of passing students in a single school district. This isn’t learning nor is it challenging.

    Anyone can learn to pass tests but that isn’t the real definition of education. Retention of material is the true definition. It is the difference between being taught and being educated. If a child is taught what to study for a test, he will pass it. But if he can remember what he learned two weeks later or apply it logically, then he has been educated.

    How can you help your child become educated? This summer, there are some things you can and should consider for future reference and some things you can do right now.

    Be aware of what the curricula was offered in his or her school. Was it well diversified; was passing tests the only criteria for passing grades? Were the various disciplines interconnected, in other words, did what your child learn in a social studies class on the American Revolution relate to prose from that same time period in a language arts class?

    You are your child’s best educator. Encourage your child in the arts. Music, art, dance, all are known to contribute to a child’s intellectual growth. Read with your child and make reading a habit. Reading encourages imagination and studies have shown that inventors are great readers.

    Encourage your child’s interests and abilities. Satisfy their curiosity, supplement their education; make learning a lifelong joy.

    Square pegs in round holes? Doesn’t work for puzzles and definitely not in education.

    Written by Kristen HoughtonRate this article:

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