I would like to open this blog with an apology to my son.
Now an adult, Michael is intelligent, curious, loves to learn new things, and very closely follows the things he is passionate about.
So why the apology?
From the 4th grade on, at the end of each school marking period, our house was not a happy place because report cards were distributed. I knew the less than stellar grades didn’t reflect his real ability. My frustration would heighten especially as he promised the marks would get better because, “This is the new Michael.”
That never happened.
What did happen was a consistent yet subtle change. His room was filled with books on the topics he loved; philosophy, religion, mathematics, military tactics, leadership and most of all, music.
When we played Trivial Pursuit, all the adults wanted Michael on their team. When we watched Jeopardy on TV as a family, I would count all the money he would have won if he had been on the show rather than sitting comfortably in our living room.
While I was worried about grades and the status of good grades; he knew better than me that education was more about the love of learning. What was at stake was my relationship with my son.
For this reason I want to share a manifesto written by Seth Godin, my favorite author. I encourage you to download, print, read and share – Stop Stealing Dreams (what is school for?).
Godin writes that the education system was designed when education became compulsory and children were moved out of factories. The objective was to create very obedient factory workers when these same children grew up and would return to the factory. That approach will not help create new ideas or help find someone’s passion.
The world has changed dramatically, but education has not. That is a much bigger problem, but like any problem, we can solve it if we understand what is really wrong.
Einstein is quoted as having said that if he had one hour to save the world he would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.
Your problem is much easier to solve. Don’t let an out of date education system, ruin your relationship with your child, or destroy your child’s dreams.
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Have a great week!
Tina Nocera, Founder