Monday, August 17, 2009

back to school

It's that time of year once again. Excited children are busy filling their backpacks. Teenagers are simultaneously complaining about returning to school yet looking forward to seeing their friends once again. And parents are either cheering or dreading the fact that life will be back to routines and homework nightmares. The summer is coming to an end and the new school year is about to begin.

This got me to thinking about public schools and our expectations of them. I've seen too many parents who drop their darling five year olds off on their first day of kindergarten, pick them up at high school graduation and expect them to be well educated, well behaved, and well adjusted adults.

If we, as parents, expect the schools to fulfill these roles, we will be sorely disappointed. Public schools are flawed and and have their limits. Even if your child is attending a top notch school, there's more learning needed that the school can't and shouldn't provide.

Know that the family life you provide for your child(ren) will have a much bigger impact than any school can give. Remember that there are things a public school can't teach, such as ethics, morals and Biblical truths (if that's important to your family). We, as parents, can teach our kids how to get along with others, how to show compassion, how to respect authority, how to take responsibility, and the list goes on.

We also need to let our children know how important the family unit is. Do whatever you have to do to make this a priority, as it will get harder the older your children get. Before you know it, your children will care more about what their peers think than what mom and dad say. This is normal, but if they know their family is there for them and love them unconditionally, they most likely will come through it all as well adjusted adults.

Side note: Speaking of school starting, we will be taking my baby up to school Wednesday to start his second year in college. Danielle will start as soon as she returns from Nepal. Boy, the summer sure went by fast. We'll be back to living in an empty nest and missing the life and love of our two children living here with us. Life goes on.


Melissa said...

This is a carbon copy of a discussion that Hubby and I had the other night. We expect the kids to get a decent (not perfect) academic education. But there is NO WAY I'm leaving moral, family, ethical teaching in the hands of the school system! That's what I'm here for and I fully intend on doing that job :)

Jamey said...

I have mixed feelings about school and sending my kids off once again. I agree with everything you have said. I think kids actually learn more bad things at school when they are outside the classroom (lunch, recess) than they do good things while in the classroom. It's a constant battle trying to re-teach them the little things like...treat others how you would want to be treated, if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all...these things don't happen at school.

Good luck moving your youngest to school this year, I'm sure you will have mixed emotions as well!! When does Danielle get back from Nepal? I bet she will have some stories to tell for sure!!

barb said...

Well said and needs to be said! I have a growing concern over what I hear children experience in school. Equally, I have been bothered by the lack of respect many children have for their teachers, parents and other adults.

As you say, the family is critically important!

MightyMom said...

aahahhh, yes, but while the mice are away the cats are gonna PLAY!!!


three cheers for having all kids in school this year! (well, at least for 3 days a week.)

Jamey said...

I just checked Danielle's blog. I was so happy to see that you got to "talk" to her. How great for all of you!! I bet you are so excited to see her. I will pray for safe travels home for her. Have a good weekend!