This is a yin-yang question in the sense that I don’t think there’s any black or white answer. I’m sorry all you teachers out there – you’ll have to give me half-marks, or accept the grey. No red ink right!
I’m perturbed, or in non-school-approved vernacular, pissed-off.
You see right now I’m experiencing the pains (and I’m talking me personally) of having a child in Year 6 – the last year of primary school, apparently, but in solid preparation for high school and it seems they have homework to match.
She doesn’t like it and I’m not that thrilled.
I don’t blame her teacher for setting the work to get them used to the demands of Year 7. In fact I thank her for it. I do ‘sort of’ blame the people who created the curriculum and who deemed that kids are ready for it one year earlier than they used to be when high school started in Year 8 – even though they’ve spent the last couple of years trying to ‘catch up’ to this point. And I blame the system and society – because they’re big amorphous things that I can target, because I do want to blame. Why does everything have to be so serious?
I know Queensland has been behind other states (no jokes please southerners) and I don’t really know the situation in other countries, but judging by our 11 year old, who is average academically, the ask is a little or a lot too much.
Plus we have a little preppie at the same time – a just-turned five year old who wants to play, and wants to learn too, but maybe not at the pace or in the style preppies are supposed to learn these days. So I worry about him, when I should be enjoying him growing up, becoming a little school-boy.
What’s the answer – more knowledge, less learning?
Teaching our kids life skills more than topics? Teaching them how to learn, rather than things to know?
Letting our kids see the world through language, numbers, formulas, maps, history, the lens of a camera, or the abstractness of art – just not expecting them to interpret it through all of the above? Because we all see the world differently, don’t we?
Telling our kids they are enough rather than grading them?
Helping them learn how to breathe, deeply. Helping them learn how to self-calm?
Guiding them in being compassionate, allowing them to experience failure so they learn resilience. Supporting them when they ‘fail’. Helping them define their own success?
Teaching them meditation. Reassuring them they can always find that place of worth and oneness that is their true self, and that from this place they can tap into universal creativity?
Teaching them yoga – showing how they can combine breath and movement to find stillness, balance and strength?
Leading them by an example that doesn’t necessarily equate with the highest marks or the best performance?
Showing them a work ethic alongside the ultimate importance of home, of family, of living life in the moment and not always striving to achieve, of just being?
I hope my new little meditation video might help kids cope with the stress of school. What are your thoughts on homework – too much, not enough, shouldn’t have it at all? And love your thoughts on my meditation video below.