An Educational Attitude

          As the summer vacation comes to an end, we need to focus on the new school year. This upcoming academic year elicits some bitter-sweet emotions for us. Mainly, we have one child beginning his education in PK3, one entering first grade and one graduating from high school. All three will experience a different kind of education than they have ever experienced. As parents, our role as support and advocate remains. But what about this education they are about to receive? Is it worth all this grief?

          Lee says: Are my children receiving a quality education? Are they getting the best? I am happy to say that where we live, they are attending the best schools. The oldest two attend public school and will continue their education in schools that are regarded ‘A’ schools by the State of Florida. This means that the schools have been assessed by the state and based on the academic testing done in specific grades, these schools rank amongst the finest in the state. Our oldest actually attends a school that is ranked in the top 40 high schools in the nation. This isn’t bragging. It is just information.

          The reality is that none of this means anything if the parents are not on board as a support in their child’s education. My kids could be attending a sub-par school and still be maximizing their potential because we insist that they apply themselves. Education is very important to us. Paul and I were both teachers at one point in our lives and have committed ourselves to our own personal education. We have passed this on to our kids.

          Now, please do not read in this the ‘we are good parents because this is what we do’ blah blah. We are not even remotely perfect and we will admit some of our expectations may seem unreasonable to some. Also, we are blessed because our kids have shown an aptitude to education early on. We know we are blessed. Even with a multiply handicapped child, academically she has a black belt. We do, however stress that atmosphere has more to do with a child’s educational attitude than anything else. If a child is raised in a certain conversation (i.e. Jeannie was told at 2 ½ that she should never go to college in Florida so she could explore the world and now she won’t even consider applying to a school in Florida), they will make choices for themselves based on those conversations.

          It’s like this, you need to point the gun and the child will eventually fire it. We tell the kids that school is important and fun and exciting. Eventually, they will agree. It is fine to raise a child to believe the decision is theirs and you have some sort of faux democracy going on. You can run your household anyway you want. In our home, we believe in a more oligarchical society with occasional bouts of fascism. We believe in parenting with parameters. We believe each meta message is ‘this is what we want’ then allow them to choose how they follow those directions.

          We owe everything to our attitude regarding education, not necessarily our actual education. We appreciate that our parents never tried to homeschool us since we probably would not be around today to be able to discuss this. We are grateful that we know enough to know we don’t know everything and are blessed to know how to find the information. We hope we pass this along to our kids.  

          Paul says: It’s all about attitude. Then again, isn’t everything? Studies show that, if you want your kids to be successful in school, tell them that they are successful in school. Children that are good at math are so because somewhere along the line someone told them how good they are at math.

          I happen to be exceptional at the art of love making. This is due to the fact that I have been told over and over how good I am. Of course, this was said by me and usually into a mirror. We all get our props where we can.

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