Cattle Education

My child attends public school; for now. I say for now because I believe that parents should take each school year one at a time and re-assess what their child(ren) need academically and socially.  We can not just assume that the traditional American model of education will be a good fit for our children throughout their educational experience.

I find most school environments to be what I call “cattle education.” By that I mean many children are herded through each grade, given little opportunity for an individualized learning experience and essentially must stay in their “pen” until the rest of the group moves on. Many children do not flourish in these types of settings.

Our kiddos change and mature so greatly within a traditional school calendar year and it is wisdom to take inventory at the end of each grade to determine what they  need for the upcoming academic year in the Fall.

For example,  I have worked with parents whose child ended a grade having done very well academically but struggled throughout the year socially. The parents and I brainstormed about ways to improve the social environment for the child and making a move to a smaller, private school was the right choice for the family. The child did very well and was able to advance in social skills due to a change in the school setting.

Another child I worked with had experienced an unsettled home life and the parents determined that even though the child’s current school wasn’t ideal in their views, the child wanted and needed consistency in one area of life. Therefore the parents kept the child in the same school and it turned out to be the right choice.

There are a few aspects to education that we must be mindful of and the most important to me is that the school setting we have our children in should not just become a babysitting service. Our children must be able to utilize their school days in highly productive ways that are enriching or it may be time to rethink the environment where your child is being educated.

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