I don’t want my kids to learn things in bits and pieces, randomly, unconnected and at someone else’s behest, just so they can say they did it. Just so that they can laugh at dinner parties years later about how much they “hated algebra” or why they refuse to ever read a book written before 1990 or that one awful teacher who gave them so much homework and “ha, ha ha” isn’t that funny that we all had those awful, humiliating, boring experiences?
I don’t want my kids to be shunned by the “popular” kids or be one of the popular kids and find themselves looking down on others for the way they dress or wear their hair or the way the teachers all love them or the way they use the word “random” too much. I don’t want them to worry about cliques or ever find themselves sitting alone at a lunch table because they dared have a crush on someone who was not in their own circle of friends.
I don’t want my kids to coast through school, getting good grades, never questioning the system and always doing as they are told because…well, just because.
I don’t want my kids to believe that a good grade makes them a good person; that a high test score makes them intelligent, better, more worthy.
On the other hand….
I want my kids to know that there are many kinds of intelligence, and most of them are not valued or fostered in schools.
I want my kids to learn things because they are curious, even if the things they are curious about do not interest me.
I want my kids to be able to set goals for themselves quietly, without the need for announcements and constant superficial praise, and then be able to pursue those goals on their own – with our help if they need it and our support, always.
I want my kids to know that sometimes the path to achieving a goal leads through an area that, on its’ own, would hold no interest for them but which they tackle willingly because it is part of pursuing the goal they have set for themselves; it is part of the whole, and as such it will be remembered, rather than learned for a moment – for a test – and then forgotten.
I want my kids to know where to go for answers when they need them and to be familiar with the tools and resources available to fill any “holes” in their knowledge – should the need arise to do so.
I want my kids to be kind and accepting of themselves and of others no matter where they’re from or what they look like.
How can I be sure my kids will know and be these things?
Lead when needed, encourage always.
Live my own life with joy.