Not that I want to rant or anything (no drama zone, I promise), but please, allow me to express the feelings on my heart about some of the major and serious changes I have seen in education over the years.

I am blessed, in many ways, because my oldest daughter is ten years older than her siblings. That was how it was in my house too growing up, we had a ten and thirteen year gap between myself and my two younger sisters. While now we are great friends and I love and appreciate them for who they are, at the time I was 12-15 I most certainly did not.

I don’t believe in chance, or circumstances just happening. ALL things happen for a reason, and I believe the Lord allowed me to have the perspective of a sister separated by so many years from her sisters, so I would clearly understand what it is to be a mom to the same arrangement later in life.

When my oldest was five, lots and lots of things were different. I am not just talking culturally, but educationally as well. Kindergarten most places was half days, so little ones could be home after lunch and absorbing what they had learned earlier in the day. They brought home a lot more fun centered learning style things and less homework.  They chattered about learning their letters and numbers, not about cultural normalcy, and current events.

Frankly, they were allowed to be kids, and the adult world was left to the…well, the adults.

When I was a child I can remember listening from behind the couch to my parents chatting with other parents in the neighborhood about current events. We probably had heard about some of it, I mean, come on, the Challenger exploded right in front of us during school hours as we had all gathered to watch it soar into space with teachers on it. But our parents were a little more careful about how we learned about things, there was certainly times kids were not “in the room” when parents were talking about things that might be hard on us or effect us in a bad way.

Educationally, my concern is now that school has become a place where we push social issues far more than we should, and our focus in many places has become more on that than simple reading, writing and arithmetic. The reason this concerns me is simply because history repeats itself.

Hitler himself recognized this, and realized if he wanted to change the mindset of a nation, he needed to start with the children. Change curriculum to reflect what social issues you want to influence. Keep the children for longer periods of time. Remove the influence of the parents, or lessen it so that in times of question and need they turn to other authority figures.

I am sure you understand where I am going with that part of my concern.

But there is more that I am concerned with. When you begin to look at the statistical numbers of children who have been placed on medication so that they “function well” in an institutional setting  such as a government daycare or preschool, that is when my alarm bells start ringing. This is not, in any way, referring of course to the many children out there who have a real issue with attention disorders, and I hope you understand that.

It is in reference to the fact that children were not, period, created to be still for a long stretch of time. Children learn through play. Their creative imagination skills are enhanced not by sitting in a desk or a classroom, but by being given tools to give that imagination wings. Through free and structured play, and a lot of it, minds are enlarged, ideas developed, and it sets the stage for true learning to begin. I am deeply troubled not only by the shift away from this and towards preparing small children for college when they are in Kindergarten, but also towards only giving free play during recess times or only having structured play time.

Perhaps it is because we are homeschoolers I feel this strongly about it. As you can see by our header picture, you can tell my kids are used to going through a lot of craft supplies and creating things that they play with for hours and hours of fun, and education. I wish that more children could grow up with that instead of what is being presented in most classrooms over the last few years.

I am blessed that we have many friends who are teachers, and who have sounded off on this issue over the last year or so.

All I can say is, this is part of what is in my heart, and if it hopefully helps one parent take a little longer look at the curriculum your children are being offered, and raise questions about it, then I have not written in vain. 😀

As always, many of us have to make hard choices, and for some parents, homeschooling is simply not possible. But almost every parent I know has time to make buildings out of boxes, or have a tea party (go Dads, go!), or spend time bug hunting, etc. Keep childhood what it should be. Turn off the TV. Create something out of nothing. Play hand games with your kids and if you don’t know how to do that, check out Youtube and learn. Watch the world through the eyes of your children before they grow up. See how many times you can say yes before you say no. Leave work at work, and when you are home, be really, REALLY home (not Facebook catch up time).

Reassert your right to parent your child, not pass that responsibility off to the teachers and the faceless entity of a school board or group. Be engaged. Many of you out there are doing that. I am just encouraging those of you who have not stepped forward to do so.

Blessings to you and yours,

~Heather <3