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Revisiting YOUR School Memories Helps You Help Your Child Learn

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Revisiting YOUR School Memories Helps You

Help Your Child Learn

By Linda Dobson

memoriesThe older we get, the better a backward look on childhood becomes. The more distant childhood becomes, the more school memories resemble professional photographs of pretty girls – fuzzy and “touched up.”

You remember the prom, the football games you won, the chemistry class fire, and graduation, moments we choose to store in our memories because they were fleeting, beyond the routine of day to day life.

But there were other moments, too, of which Barbra Streisand sang: “What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget.” I guarantee you’ve forgotten a lot more about your own education than you remember. But if you are going to make responsible decisions about where and how your child learns, the best experience to guide you is your own. You need to take a good, hard look at your own schooling to provide you with a point of reference, something to which you may compare other educational options and evaluate their relative merit.

Memories – Did You Get an Education Or Were You Programmed?

If you’ve read even a smattering of my writings, you’re aware that I constantly point out there is a difference between receiving an education and being conditioned or programmed. Now is a good time to apply this knowledge to your own experience. Did each progressive school year leave you feeling more and more capable and in control of your own destiny? As your knowledge base about a particular subject expanded, were you awed by the vast expanse of information that still lay over the horizon? Were you eager each morning to get to class and continue a lesson or project from the day before? Did you feel purpose and see each class’ relevance to your future? Do you feel you are a better person for the time you spent in school? Did you feel funny about jumping up and moving at the sound of a bell? Or about moving along crowded hallways like one in a massive herd of cattle?

The paragraph above contains enough food for thought to keep you chewing for a month! Yet there are still more questions around the bend, many more angles from which to get to the heart of the truth about learning and conditioning. Once you get going, they will come to you. Have faith in yourself, and remember it’s for the kids.

More Help to Stir Up Your Memories

Here are a few more angles from which to bring up those memories. Start with whichever one you feel most comfortable. There’s no magic order to the questions. There aren’t any magic answers, either. No one else has had exactly the same school experiences as you have.

  • Did school prepare you for life – or work?
  • What was good about your school experience? Why?
  • What about your experience could have been improved? Why? How? By whom?
  • How much of what you learned in school do you apply today?
  • How much of what you do today did you learn outside of school?

How can children bombarded from birth by noise, frenetic schedules, and the helter-skelter caretaking of a fast-paced adult world learn to analyze, reflect, ponder? How can they use quiet inner conversations to build personal realities, sharpen and extend their visual reasoning? These qualities are embedded in brains by the experiences a society chooses for its children.

What are we choosing for ours?

~ Jane M. Healy, Ph.D. in Endangered Minds: Why Children Don’t Think and What We Can Do About It

If you discover your “memories” are more bitter than sweet, don’t worry; simply let them go. But keep what remains as a result of your experience – knowledge – to carry you to decisions benefiting the children you love. That which you choose for your children today will become their “memories” tomorrow. Is it not best, then, to choose with as much knowledge as you have love in your heart?

Want to know more about making education decisions, especially the decision to homeschool? There’s much more information like this in Linda Dobson’s The 15th Anniversary Edition of The Art of Education: Reclaiming Your Family, Community and Self, now available for just $4.99 in e-book format.


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