The future of your child is…

The interconnectedness of this world through technology has opened up our minds to more truths about what living is and what it can be. More people question leaders and authority than ever before. More people question the patterns of social control, especially education, more than ever before. The future is now more than ever in the hands of each one of us rather than under the guidance of some stranger posing as the wise guide of our dreams and directions.

It seems to me, a professional teacher, that our education system has shifted drastically from Life preparation to Test preparation. You can’t have both BECAUSE the tests from the states are NOT made for LIFE preparations. They are made strictly for College Bound preparations. Which makes the question come about, “Well, isn’t college about preparing our youngsters for a life occupation ?”
NOT TOTALLY. College is about wasting the first two years reviewing all the stuff high school teaches for four years before getting to the “real” job related skill sets. WHY ? Because if you are a higher institute of learning, you have to show it by making things harder to get through, harder to do. We all know it does not take four years to learn the necessary job skills. But the “face” of a University requires the “image” of ‘tough stuff’. So they add unnecessary subjects and beat to death the high school subjects by expanding them and forcing faster learning. I tell the college students who do course work with me, ” Your University teachers are there to teach you how to work under pressure and how to research. That’s all it is for the first 2 years. Your “real education” comes from here, from this room, in this school, where the “live” big and little people reside all day long relating to each other. And no matter where you go, what job you apply for, once you are in as an employee, THEY will teach you THEIR way of seeing and doing things. THEY know that what you get at the University is NOT targeted nor directed for their business specifically. Same thing goes for here.” Think about your child. Look at that wonderful kid of your’s–and ask yourself, ” What talents are inside of my child ? What potential and capacities are sitting in their daydreaming and wanting to come out instead of going through the “test prep” education schools are doing now?” because I am a grade school teacher, I can see where the starting lessons of grade school are, in fact, Life preparation–basic reading, math and writing. But it’s not long after that–somewhere in grades 6,7,8 that the nonsense begins. Be aware and care about taking some control at least of your child’s education for their welfare and their benefit. All you have to ask yourself, if you did not come from a business oriented family, is “what was MY first job I qualified for after High school ? ” My answer to that is–grocery store worker.

Remember, if the only practice of academic content your kid gets is at school–and none at home with your help–make sure you show them how Walmart is laid out and where everything is because that’s going to be all they can accomplish for a daily living with public education by the time they graduate. OR start training them for a ”valuable” trade during the summers and off times during the school season. You can train them in the construction and auto works that we all pay lots of money for.

There are two main difficulties with educational curriculums, no matter what company, no matter which style. 1. As I’ve told my tutoring students and my class room students many times: you
learn naturally through your senses with the combined connections of everything in your world from the day you are born. In school they disconnect all of the connections and show you each piece broken down into little pieces. Before long you think you never knew a thing, and just because you cannot put all those little pieces back together again that THEY took apart in THEIR own way, you begin to think maybe you’re just plain stupid and will never be able to figure anything out on your own again. This is why many students give up and quit altogether. 2. The presentations of knowledge in text books hardly ever relates to the normal functioning of the thought processes in the human mind. Very few children have minds that operate like textbooks–in 225 lesson segments categorized into 23 sections. And the challenge for us teachers–in the absurdity of it all is this: they tell us to “use your gift to teach the knowledge, but go according to the curriculum.” It should be said this way: “Use the curriculum as you see fit to teach the knowledge according to the gift you have been given.”
But you won’t hear that because the government controls the educational format through purse strings–even when it doesn’t pay the schools what it promises–and the ties of curriculum companies happily fit with this opportunity to give flash and style for more ridiculous curriculum choices. I would love to tell you how many curriculum text books and work books I have seen thrown in school trash bins because of schools being forced to change curriculums.
I guess their ”fantastic, scientifically proven and field tested” products fell flat somewhere. So, what’s the point of all this ? THINK before you simply send you kid down the tube to what you think is ”The Norm”–because the norm of most public education is not to help your child find their talent and grow educationally connecting that talent to facts and figures. The “brightest parents and students” figure this out early and they fill in the gaps themselves, making sure their children do not end up in the “mass produced population” to fit the millions of necessary menial jobs as their best hope. Prevent your child from being mentally disadvantaged. Get involved with your child’s education beyond showing up for PTA meetings and helping to raise money through benefits. Do all that plus the much more you will need to do for your child’s future success.   End for now.

Homeschool and Natural Learning

Human beings were created with an instinct of curiosity. That is the prime factor of all learning. Keep that in mind as I share these thoughts of mine with you.

Advantages of homeschool. 1. Kids can start the learning day when they had all the sleep they really need and had the good breakfast they should have in a fair amount of enjoyable time instead of limited time. I see kids come in late for the free breakfast program and they are told to have it done within the five or ten minutes left for breakfast. Not the kid’s fault but the kid pays with lacking nutrition by limited breakfast and added emotional stress. “They don’t need that much time to eat, and breakfast isn’t for socializing”, is what I have heard at times, and that is wrong.
2. You can hang on to a subject your kid is really interested in and stretch it out into many areas, even study that subject for the whole day or week if you want to. When your child is “sparked” into excitement about something, that something should be the center focus for as long it can stay in the lime light. In a regular class, the “spark” is stunted by the clock. “We have to get in so many subjects “within the time” we are allowed and thereby have to stop one thing no matter how the kid feels about it. And if they are not done with the assignment “in time”, they have to do it later on their own or at home. We have “a schedule” to keep and “only so much time” per chapter of every subject. We can’t stay here all day.” THAT is the way a regular class is run. Stunting the mental sparks we teachers claim to ignite. Counterproductive and a paradox.
3. Home school allows private time, meditation/relaxation time, quiet time at your own choosing and at different times on different days. No interruptions. In public school there is no private quiet relaxation time. It’s as if kids are supposed to have different neurological systems than adults. Not so. Calm and quiet relaxation times are part of what makes great minds work. Every class has noise all day long. “Quiet” by public school class definition means “shut up” or it means you hear only whispers and paper crackling and pencils scratching and kids coughing and giggling while you try to focus on the day.
4.Last one here. You can take time off for trips out of town and out of state whenever you want to without being reported to authorities. Schools now are cracking down on attendance. They seem to become a forced family member that you did not invite. They feel they can own a part of your family and dictate how your life should be run. It’s not conspiracy. It’s the extension of a fad I’m calling “social control”. That’s all for this session.🙂

Long before public school became mandated and a cultural norm, every country’s population learned what their family wanted them to learn which was usually the family business, whatever that meant in the range of homesteading, store owner, traveling by land or sea, politics, university specific studies if one could afford the luxury and connections. Most of the education was homeschooling. The idea of “well rounded socially” was simply being around people in different social settings. No one was considered odd or deranged or not normal because of having only siblings or church friends as their main social connections while growing up. Most young people experienced some social dialogue with others in different settings. I teach for a living. I know families who homeschool successfully, and their children through family and church associations have always been “normal well rounded” children. You cannot distinguish a home school person from a public school person by sight nor any means other than asking them. So, I want to say that the idea that children must have public school experience in order to turn out normal and in order to know how to get along with others, how to make friends and how to handle challenges among playgrounds and in class rooms, a false belief. Not true. In some cases it IS true for certain children because of the dysfunctional homes they are being raised in. However, that’s not the norm. So, if you wonder how your kids would turn out if you home schooled them or did so with a collaborating effort with other parents, it will turn out great with a good team.

One of my University teachers told us the learning process formula. he said to remember MPCB. Motor skills first. Then Perception skills. Then Concept skills. These lead to Behaviors. He said all of these depend upon the first. If anything is short circuited in the motor area, it will affect the perceptions, and any short circuit of the perception area affects concept understanding which results in short circuited behaviors. Children must have lots of physical experiences with play and nature-just being outside to run and explore and know this world they live in. Television and video games can short circuit perceptions and understandings of concepts in real life if they replace reality for too much time of a day. Food for thought.

Here’s a little note about “scope and sequence” when it comes to presenting concepts according to the sequential order of understanding any process connections. First you learn number one which helps you understand number two, and so on. I learned that it is not true all of the time for learning to take place. Years ago I was surprised when some of my students understood steps 3 and 5 but not the ones before those, and they were still able to figure it out “their way”. I called them the “swiss cheese” kids because they still ‘got it’ even with holes in their understanding, as I saw it. Now I see it that the learning process has different ways of connecting the pieces. Real learning has always started since the day we are born; by taking in through our senses everything in whatever order it comes. What happens to all that information depends upon our natural capacity of intellect combined with the awareness of our families to provide opportunities for experiences of many levels. Learning “happens” unplanned / naturally yet can be made stronger with specific planning / training–showing how that information can purposely directed to create things and events. So, when you help your child with homework, or if you are homeschooling, do not be shocked, dismayed nor bothered when they come up with another way of doing things. Honor them by telling them their way works. And remind them that public schools are very restrictive in their process and should NOT be the main measure of their intelligence nor of their value as a worthy human being, nor of the value of how successful they can and will be.

A recent article on yahoo about the common core and some educators points of view was interesting. They said the big difference between common core math and the ”usual” math is this; the ”usual” math is procedural while common core math is conceptual. Ok. That explains why it takes much longer to get through common core math challenges/problems, because they want the kids to know WHY numbers do what they do, not just how they get along but why they dance in the patterns they do, so to speak. And the reason they want the kids to know the concept side better is simply so they will be better prepared to enter college. THAT’S IT! Not so the students will be able to handle money better, make better budgets, know how to invest for their future benefits, or know how to understand contracts and bank dealings, etc. NOPE. That doesn’t matter. Just be able to show off how to to get the right answer for a problem that has nothing to do with real life experiences, so they can be in the top ten on the college list. I’ve been in education for 21 years now. The most frustrating element of all is the refusal of the education system to tie education into real life needs for the individuals as well as for the communities. I do not believe the education system is supposed to be a separate ”specialized” field such as the military branches or the government. Who cares how we rate with other countries in terms of math-smart kids, and science-smart kids ? What difference does that make in the scheme of things ? Nothing, really, except being able to show off how high up a country is in the specialized top ten list. Besides, it is the students doing that work–not the congress, not the big wheels in the government. Education should be designed according, first of all, to basic communication needs(listening, speaking, reading and writing), basic math needs ( the four basic operations, money and time)and basic understanding of social studies (including social skills behaviors) and science. That can all be covered within the first 5 or 6 grades. From that point on you find out a student’s talent and group the students by their directed interests. General business studies, science occupations, entertainment occupations, entrepreneurism, chef, mechanic, mathematician, writer, health services, etc. Teach all further language and math as designed for those occupations. Our kids are much smarter at age 10 on up than we credit them to be. Our country cripples its own capabilities and progress with the system we use. Common Core is a reflection of a breed that won’t die easily; the ones who want to control what the majority of the population will learn and where they will go. They want to maintain only two routes: the wide base of workers for the necessary maintenance of making and shipping the products, and the leaders and inventors they accept through their gauntlet of high thinking gibberish. I know there is a lot of gray areas between all of this. But the basic system itself is so ridiculously repetitive and self-defeating, it is like playing the same tune from 80 years ago when music has changed direction to another higher level. End.

All about teaching our kids to be…

These are a mix of heart pieces I have written in my personal tutoring site on facebook.  I belong to the group of people tired of the ”still” assembly line teaching process of public schools when it comes to educating our children. They take away the children’s ”real” feeling of learning. They replace it with ”canned” training, to replace the previous generation of consumer goods caretakers: the lousy pay jobs that are never meant to make a living with but to scrape by until your real education of who you are and what you can do finally wakes up within you.

I know for a fact we have all the time and the resources and the intellectual capabilities with the teachers and the students for every American student to graduate high school having an expert understanding of finances: budgeting, investing, book keeping and accounting. This current system cripples our students by maintaining worthless math curriculum for the mere purpose of “thinking better”. What BETTER THINKING we really could give our kids by teaching them to be financially literate and ready to run a business, to be an accountant, to have the financial strategies to be financially wise and secure. Some day maybe the schools will decide to get our kids off the “not a clue about life” assembly line.

There is a difference between the natural education process and the “controlled channelling” education process used by all societies through public schools to ensure their baseline work force to sustain community businesses. Natural learning is holistic in the way that all senses are involved in the absorbing, experimenting, practicing and perfecting of every element of whatever process is being engaged in. Controlled channelling is predetermined chosen “pieces” of a process taught to ”create” a specific ability in a specific amount of time for a specific purpose–mainly to give students only ”basic” knowledge and enough of it to be able to work a simple job with enough competency to succeed. Public school, to me as a teacher in the system, does this very thing 80% of the time with “interesting stuff” thrown in to keep the students halfway happy and cheaply amazed. Based on amazing young people I’ve met and read about over the decades—not counting the famous ones the media finds– I believe in the possibility of young people being able to have and begin occupational training in the field of their interest/talents/gifts as early as age 12 or in grade 6. Most parents can attest to recognizing talents in their children–without the usual parental bias of “my kid is great all the time”–early on and making statements like, “Yes, you will be a college bound kid because you have what it takes. Just hang in there for the next 6 to 8 years and school will make more sense”. I am talking about “any” field of interest. It would be completely normal, as human beings are designed, to base all vocabulary, reading, math, history, geography, social studies, sciences and health on a themed occupation such as mechanics, business, medical—first aid, nurse, doctor, EMT, veterinarian, physical therapy, etc.—, animal scientist, any kind of scientist, cooking, accountant, entrepreneur, farming, carpenter, electrician, plumber, banker and more. Most people have talents for 2 or more things, so to have students study for 2 occupations at the same time in a spread out plan is not unreasonable.

My personal experience to back up my thoughts is this. My own children were capable of starting their music talents at an early age and were performing with me at nursing homes at age ten and eleven with their flute and violin. At age 13 they traded those in for guitars–yes, I weeped– and started learning complicated songs from Nirvana and Led Zeppelin among other great bands. My son at age 13 or 14 was starting early in the field of construction–although it was called “just helping out” with building things–thanks to a good friend who was a carpenter. He allowed my son to help as his boys helped him with the basics of building things around their home. By the time my son was 18 he had all the basics learned and practiced for building walls, dry walling, mudding, painting, trimming, roofing, floors and more. At 18 he was ready to work as a construction man. If the only education he had received was from public school none of that would have happened nor even been possible. My daughters did not have the same opportunities but they should have. One wanted to be a veterinarian and I asked a veterinarian one day if he would allow her to ”hang out” for a day and watch what they do. He said, yes. It was a fantastic opportunity even though she did not go that direction later. At least she had the chance to ”experience” some of it and then have more knowledge to decide which direction she would go later. I forgot to add in Part 1 that the arts–music and painting and pottery and designing–are also occupations that should be in the theme list. Home schoolers have the greatest chance to let this natural education process work in their families as long as they, too, do not get caught up in the ”channeled” education process that most ”curriculum” books follow. Public school, I think, does its best work in grades k to 4 or 5. After that, it’s more of the same at different levels and that is why we have high drop outs, and more challenges for safety and sanity, and why there are more suicides in those grade levels: because those higher levels are more like funneling mice in a maze of hallways with no real meaningful purposes for end results. Why do I write all this ? So that you, parents, will realize that the “real” education for preparing for life and for the work your kids would love to do is not going to happen solely through the public school system. You have to have make it happen at home for your kids. Know their talents and provide opportunities by connecting your child with people and places that practice what your kid’s talents are. 

The term in education, “research based” is very misleading. It is for the most part a label someone can slap onto any new and improved program for the benefit of their cash profit flow. In my 22 years of teaching I have seen many “research based” programs replaced with other “research based” programs on the basis of the previous program being considered a “failure” of producing the needed results. I am certain, if I took the time to prove it, that the history of educational curriculum would show the same routine of every program having this type of a run; “Hey, everyone. THIS program is the proven one from 500 schools tested and results being fantastic. UTOPIA has been found for the brain of every single child.—-5 to 10 years later, due to the need of another cash cow and the previous generations pretty much not giving a hoot about the change–“Oh, my, folks. We are sorry to say we were so wrong about this failing program we once touted as the savior of all children’s minds and the liberty torch of all schools. It “appears” that the research was tainted. BUT THIS NEW PROGRAM…”, and the beat goes on. I write this in response to the article of Mississippi children failing the reading tests. Teachers are targeted, not the tests. I went through the teaching program in Illinois, and even here I wonder, after being sometimes influenced yet often talked down to by presenters of “ideas” in seminars and workshops for us teachers to use, why we even have o have 4 years of learning how to teach. 4 years. You graduate as a “pro”. You start working and you see other teachers doubting themselves and even “seeking” other ideas to use because of doubt. These are other teachers who have at least ten or more years on me for teaching. Something is off somewhere and I can tell you it is NOT the teachers who are off. It is the system’s consistent desire to look like the next automobile, the new package of Oreo cookies, the hippest for the next generation, totally missing the boat that it is not the curriculum that matters but the many ways of thinking that these kids bring into the school, as they have been doing for hundreds of years. That’s my “professional” opinion. Take out the time constraints, let teachers teach as they are gifted to and you’ll see great strides of improvement everywhere.