Where Have All The Children Gone?Posted by Fred
In my lifetime, I’ve learned to believe nothing I hear and only about half of what I see. So when the T.V. ad for “Your Baby Can Read” came on, I figured it was a comedy spoof or maybe the announcer had been playing with one of those do-it-yourself lobotomy kits … but these psychos were serious. They were actually selling a course for teaching a toddler to read!
My amazement pegged to better than 7.5 on the Richter scale when I learned my grandchildren were being taught Spanish lingo and computer skills as early as the first grade, but it turns out that was mere child’s play. Only this morning I heard about some ‘enlightened’ school system in Montana that wants to provide sex education to students, beginning as early as kindergarten! Hey, when do kids get to be kids anymore? Kidhood is an important part of becoming a well-rounded adult!
I suppose all this is aimed at helping our younger generations compete in a rough and tumble world but, it seems to me, they’re not being equipped with many of the most important survival skills … things like how to win gracefully or how to get back up when they lose. Talk about competing, some schools don’t even keep score in sports or give out report cards anymore for fear of hurting somebody’s self-esteem. Believe me, in the real world they keep score in everything and nobody is worried about hurting anyone’s feelings!
The crowd that wants to impose their values upon our kids seems to put a lot of stock in a bunch of standardized test scores. Apparently, students in the U.S. are supposed to rank around 18th in the world when it comes to smarts. But if we’re raising so many dunces, how is it that nearly all the great discoveries, inventions and achievements in the past couple of hundred years have come from America?
One of my sons consistently scored so poorly on tests that his mother remarked, “How come my kid has to be so stupid?” On the other hand, teach this kid a concept and he would use it to death and even find a few new ways to apply it! One of my daughters was just the opposite … she could memorize lists of facts and ace exams to the delight of everyone giving out gold stars for the top of the test, but before very long she remembered little of what she supposedly ‘learned.’
I have a feeling that most of the lemmings being churned out by the ‘progressive’ educational programs of many high-scoring countries hear mostly echoes, where information once resided, only a few days after cramming for an exam. Give me a kid with imagination … the creativity to build a scooter from a pair of skates, a rifle from a broomstick or a space ship from a refrigerator carton any day, over the little crumb-cruncher who listens to pre-natal Mozart and learns more about political correctness than readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmetic by the third grade.
Another reality that probably tends to flatten out the ol’ bell curve is that America is one of the few countries that educates everybody, not just the privileged! It’s interesting to watch the U.S. try to be more like other countries, while the rest of the world is scrambling to emulate us. Sometimes I think we forget that our unique ability to color outside the lines is what got us here in the first place.
It just seems like old fashioned, character building kidhood has been replaced by some misguided sense of higher purpose. Maybe the secret of future success lies in simply getting back to a place where we were actually raising children instead of merely force-feeding small adults. What good is getting a kid to finish all his peas if he doesn’t know how to keep them from rolling off the knife?
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