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Friday, October 27, 2017

Educating our Children for a Powerful Life


War on Boys?



(St. Timothy's Middle School, Raleigh, NC)

The video at the bottom of this post is interesting. I’m almost laughing about this though. Not too long ago, the complaints were clearly about our education system being entirely geared towards boys, not girls, and that girls were not being given the same opportunities as boys, especially in science and math.

Boys were thriving and girls were languishing behind. We changed the structure of our education system to include and nurture female students, and as a result, girls have thrived and grown in their academic reach while boys lag behind.



Matthew studying for a homeschooling test

So, where is the balance? Good question!! As for me, I was blessed to have had the opportunity to homeschool my children until the 9th grade, at which point, we placed them in high school. Why high school you ask? 



High School graduation - Matthew 2015 - Sarah 2012

Well, one thing for sure is that we were living in a great school district in Weddington, North Carolina and had one of the best high schools in the state.  But that wasn't the most important reasoning for us.  We wanted our children to experience high school.  The friends, the football games, the clubs, the honors, the proms, the field trips, and the graduation with their peers.  We wanted them to experience the whole package.  And they did.  They were also ready to face the challenge at that time of a more social academic setting and had developed great study skills to succeed.  And succeed they did.



Matthew playing Army with his best sidekick, Adolf

It was the best decision I ever made! While homeschooling, I focused each of my children on the general subjects that mattered - reading, writing, grammar, science, social studies, English, literature, history, music, and art. But I also let them choose other things they were interested in to study along the way. For Matthew, that was astronomy, history in general,  and WWII. He was fascinated by these subjects, and I encouraged him to learn more about them. To this day, he is still very fascinated with these subjects, and other than some editing, he has written two very powerful books on WWII. He just needs to finish them so we can submit them for publication!!  They really are great stories!!



Sarah and her books ... her favorite gifts of all

Sarah honed in on all things piano and biology for a while, but got tired of it. She loved Sarah Desson books and reading became her favorite pastime. Take her to Barnes and Noble and she’s a kid in a candy store!! To this day, she may walk into a book store empty handed, but will surely walk out with at least 3-7 books covering a lot of different subjects.



Sarah has a beautiful voice singing unto the Lord!

Sarah also loved church early on, and loved going to Sunday school and singing in the choir. She loved participating in church excursions and activities and reading the Bible.



Sarah realizing that Chemistry is a drag

So, after she started college on a medical studies track, it was not surprising, really, when she felt strongly about her calling to serve the Lord. Boy, did she hate Chemistry!! 



"God is within her, she will not fail"

She changed her major(s) to Religious Studies and Psychology, and graduated with Honors and two degrees from Appalachian State.



Wake Forest University College of Divinity

She got a full ride to Wake Forest University and just began her Masters in Divinity classes after she married this past May.



Selfie with Sarah!

Could I be a more proud parent? No, I don’t think so. As my children grow and thrive doing the things they love, and studying subjects they are passionate about, all the while ... while developing their love for music, art, calligraphy, and writing ... what’s there to complain about? Well, maybe Xbox. LOL.

Still, I believe, in this country, our classrooms are too large. I believe our teachers are underpaid and overworked. I believe it is difficult for our teachers to take a personal interest in but a few of their students at any one time. It’s a tough job!



Sarah, Matthew, and Glen on their way to church

I understand homeschooling is not possible for all. I was able to be home with my kids, and I loved it! Those years were the best for me! And for my kids too! Nothing made me happier than to teach my child something in multiple ways until they “got it.” Experiencing that lightbulb moment with them was awesome.  It also enabled me to protect them from the torrent of bullying and jealousy and backstabbing that goes on in every school.  My kids actually grew up joyful!!  Go figure! 



Glen playing Star Wars and Army games with Matthew and Hannah pup

That said, and thank you for reading my post here, I see the urgent need for our children’s education to be more individual centric. That’s tough, if not entirely impossible to accomplish in today's public and private school systems.  Parents are just not as involved with their children’s education and interests, I believe, as they should be.



Brothers Billy and Mike trying not to miss the school bus

My own parents just sent me and my brothers off to school, washed our clothes, cooked our meals, and signed me up for a few ballet, baton, and piano classes; but, they never really took the time to understand what made each of us really happy, and what we loved to do more than anything else. My brother, Mike, for instance ... he loves cartooning.  His cartoons are hilarious!  He would have made a great newspaper columnist or cartoonist.  Billy, I honestly don't know what he loved to do.  He enjoyed finance, but that was his job, not his passion. You all know what my passion has always been, right?!! Art and sewing and writing!!! I wish I had been more academically and personally nurtured, and not just “raised” if you know what I mean. I did, however, have a good childhood and parents I loved and who loved me.  Do any of us really know how to raise a child?  I got better with each child I think. 




My take on this video - nurture your sons and “their” interests at home. Nurture your daughter’s and “their” interests at home too. Don’t leave their education, academic and personal interests to be the sole responsibility of our schools! That’s not fair!!

Our children can change the world! Let them discover who they are, and what they love. We, as parents, need to love them enough to pay attention.






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