Back to School! I keep hearing jokes about the sounds of September – for moms that is. Those sounds will include laying out the clothes your children want to wear the next day, packing lunch boxes or giving lunch money, waiting for the bus or car pool pickups, and then…silence. HEAVENLY, PEACEFUL SILENCE! Don’t moms just love this?
I never had that silence. As an educator for twenty-five years, my Septembers consisted of laying out my sons’ clothes and mine, packing their lunches and mine, and driving us all to school. No HEAVENLY, PEACEFUL SILENCE. In fact, I can add in the ringing of bells, the learning of new students’ names, assigning seats, and most of all always being aware that I must first have their respect and then show them my love: the keys to a successful teacher.
For the mothers who have the September Silence, I have some news for you. You are not off the hook. Education is in the home as well as the classroom, and the most successful students are the ones whose parents teach at home as well. If you are a home school parent, this means you have a double job to do!
Let me explain.
The “Old School” way of teaching is what some of us call the “lecture.” This is where the teacher tells the students what they need to know. Thank goodness that there is a “New School” way of teaching, and it should be done in the classroom and at home.
The “New School” way of teaching is when we lead a topic, but we allow the students to communicate and collaborate regarding the topic. We teach the children that it is ok to voice their opinions and to question issues.
For example, Melissa Northway’s book app “Penelope the Purple Pirate” teaches many lessons for children. It teaches that girls can be anything that they want to be … even Pirates! It also teaches that we should accept and not discriminate against others who are different from us.
Instead of telling your child “Girls can be anything they want to be” or “We should accept others who are different,” teach them to come to these conclusions themselves. You do this by giving them leading questions:
Have you ever seen a girl be a Pirate in a story or movie before? If so, what story or movie? What did this girl do? If not, why do you think there are not girl pirates?
Is there any reason why a girl cannot be a Pirate?
Can a girl do the same things that a boy can do? Be a doctor, a mechanic, or a business owner? Why?
Do you know anyone who is different? How is this person different?
How should we treat others who are different?
You see, true education is not about the “Old School” way of telling kids how to think. Go “New School” and teach them to think and question and ultimately come to their own conclusions.
They will be better prepared – college and career ready young adults -if you do.
Photo courtesy of Flickr:
About the Author:
I am a mother of two sons and a grandmother of two grandsons. I suppose my calling in life was to love little boys. Grandsons – or Baby Grands as I prefer to call them – inspire me to create stories about their lives, to read book after book to them, and to dance and act silly!
I am an educator, an author, and a publisher…oh and I am a southern woman, too! But none of this compares even remotely to the role of being a grandmother.
You can find Cyndie at: http://cyndiesebourn.com/