Learning to be a kid
Learning to be a kid, does not only happen while being at school. It happens everywhere a child exists, on a 24 hour basis. It is at home, in the sandpit, up a tree, mingling with friends, prodding an ant or slurping on an orange. It is everywhere and far too much time in the modern world of education is spent on things that individuals will never use in their life time.
Learning can only happen when the mind is ready to absorb the information or when it has learnt sufficient information to process the new information. We talk about the need to push children to remember hoards of useless 'stuff' - sort of like we do when we buy a house. We fill that newly bought house with useless 'stuff' that we will never use. Just 'stuff' to fill the space because we feel it is better than leaving it empty. However, when we come to place something in the space - we will first have to get rid of the thing that gathers dust in that corner of the room - that thing that scratched the floor - that thing we banged our legs on every time we passed - that thing we traded hard earned dollars to acquire, long before we can place something that really matters or is honestly useful to our lives. We trade our time, lives, individualism, passions and care for others to acquire 'stuff'. Schooling in the western world is so much the same. We teach kids to acquire 'stuff' - useless 'stuff' and we don't teach them enough about acquiring things that will help them live their lives - life skills - the very things that will help them survive when parents are long gone.
And... before children enter the world of education, have they truly lived a life as a child? Are we forgetting to letting them just 'be'? Are we forgetting to let them find out who they are, what they enjoy, what they love and what is really important in life.
The job of learning and being a kid is getting more and more difficult everyday; the job of being a teacher has never been more stressful. We pass those stresses over to kids and we wonder why we have problematic, sick rebellious children. Maybe sitting, daydreaming, watching the clouds roll by is all they need. There is something to be said for being bored. The brain really does need time to just sit. Like water seeping through sand - the brain needs time for information to filter through the billions of ill-connected messages. It needs time to sort out what to keep and what to throw away - yes, what it deems unnecessary in the whole scheme of things.
Unfortunately, we still school our children just like all the other children at the end of the block. They all go to the same educational factories to churn out factoids of 'stuff'.
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