Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Question for You...

We were talking this morning about education vs skills, or a trade.

Yeah, I know. Technically it's all the same. But what I was getting at was more along the lines of educating for educations' sake...you know, schooling without a plan, a focus, a goal.

And learning an actual skill...something like knowing how to do basic household wiring, or plumbing. Or being able to do at least general repairs to your vehicles, tractos, mowers, etc. Or learning to sew, crochet or knit, or any other "hobby" out there.

What do you do with your children? Are you just hoping to 'teach' them some lessons from some arbitrary scope and sequence? Do you 'teach' with a short term goal in mind, or are you looking to a distant goal? Are you preparing them for college classes, or preparing them for real life out in the world?

Now before you go telling me college is life or something, I'm not saying otherwise. We do not educate 'for' college, but every family is different. I'm just asking questions, not picking arguments, ok?

One thing we talked about was learning to do things (gain skills) that can provide you with opportunities later on. In our family, that usually translates into practical everyday skills...like troubleshooting motors, learning to prepare and plan a week's menu, sewing and crafting skills, home maintenance, etc.

We've said it before, we're trying to teach our children how to dig a hole with a shovel...not necessarily how to join the commitee studying the pre-planning and architecture of the hole for some future date.

That's just not our particular style, but it's a needed style just the same.


Jean said...

My oldest child is 5 and is in first grade level. My goal is to teach girls "basic" skills while they are yet small. Basics in my perspective is knowing how to sew, raise/perserve food, husbandary, and all things needed if you ever found yourself without electricity for any reason. Once it begin to show that learning basics is no longer enough for certain individual, then it is on to campus life or special classes to satisfy their curiousty.

Stephanie said...

I believe in teaching the basics...math, science, history....but also believe in letting the kids follow their passions.

My daughter wants to be a librarian, so we have done a lot with literature courses, etc.

My 14yo loves boats, but is considering being a history teacher. I make sure he has plenty of opportunity for both.

My 12yo loves animals and wants to either own a farm or a pet store when he is an adult. Not sure how we will handle this one yet...still working on it.

I give them the time and resources to learn, and help when I can, like in basic daily skills. I don't teach "to college".

I want them to have the opportunity, if it is available, to work at what they love, not just earn a paycheck (although sometimes that is a must).

LizBeth said...

There are some skills and subjects that are non-negotiable. Basic math, the abilities to read and to write a complete sentence, balance a checkbook, boil water!, etc., etc. Youth and young adults need a Bible education -- no matter what they are going to do.

I like the Jewish idea that a young person needs a skill that will qualify them to make a living. This skill doesn't have to be their dream career. They need a way to support themselves so they can take care of a family or support themselves while they pursue the dream career. Parents are crazy to go into debt and put all their assets at risk so the child who has never worked can go to a professional school.

College is a mess these days. If the student wants to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc., they'll have to go. If they want to learn a trade they may be better off in an apprentice program; there seem to be a growing number of them in many fields.

I wish we could get away from this idea that a career defines a person. I believe children should be taught to live simply so their needs will not be vanshgreat. They may be quite happy with a j-o-b that will allow them to follow a passion that does NOT earn them a living. And, we should teach our children that the paycheck is not their definition of self-worth or success.


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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