I read an article this summer about parents, education, and the government. Larry Donaldson, of the Carolina Conservative, really seemed to hit the nail on the head. Although this article addresses the public school sector, are there some aspects that are also true in Christian education? Do our children really need to have all those games and the very best of everything? This article seemed to reaffirm to me just exactly what my job as a teacher is supposed to be. But parents are the real role models for their child/ren, and they need to take that task very seriously.
Parents Need to Hit the Books
By Larry Donaldson
With the continued deterioration of public schools, why is the federal
government so involved in the education of our children? What part of society
has the government ever tried to fix that actually got fixed? Each year we
review the test scores of students across the nation and each year South
Carolina is near the bottom of the list in terms of scholastic aptitude. Does
this mean the kids here are any less educated than the kids in California? I
don't think so.
I, like a lot of others, believe the problem is not entirely with the kids. We
tend to send our boys and girls off to the public education system, and then
wonder why they are not learning. The teachers of today do not seem to have the
same abilities as those of my generation but the teachers of my generation had
no teachers union, which probably had a lot to do with that. On the other hand,
we as parents may be just as guilty since we are usually both working outside of
the home. We want our kids to have the very best education but when it comes
down to it, what do we do to encourage them?
The school system in Petersburg Virginia recently was in the news with their
school boards decision to drop reading from their curriculum. Now I wonder what
planet do these people live on? If our child is inattentive, the schools want
him/her tested for Attention Deficit Disorder. Perhaps the child is bored
because the teacher does not make learning fun. It is my contention; the more
fun in the classroom you have the more you learn.
We spend millions of dollars each year playing the lottery so our kids can go to
college, but I would venture to guess that fifty percent of these kids are not
college material. Shouldn't the money from the lottery go to the schools that
prepare the kids for college? The government has standards for the schools to
follow and in turn the schools get money from the government, meaning, "you and
I." Are these standards helping our kids or hurting them? We all know it takes
a village to raise a child, which is the gospel according to Hillary Clinton.
President Bush wants no child left behind. These are cute phrases but are we as
parents doing our part? We buy them the newest styles to dress in. We want them
to fit in with the cool kids. When they get home, we make sure they have their
afternoon snack while they play their video games but do we check to make sure
their homework is done? Are we sure they know how to read their books?
Alternatively, are we too busy cooking dinner and worrying about how our day
went to be bothered with their life?
I certainly donít have all of the answers to these questions, and I know how
hectic life is, but perhaps we need to take stock in our own lifestyles to
insure our kids will prosper in their life. Education is one of the most
important things in life and I do not believe the government knows any better
than we do on how to educate our children.
Mr. Donaldson is a contributing columnist for
www.carolinaconservative.com and resides in Darlington, SC. He can be reached at