Teaching children skills that are really important

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Instead of worrying whether we should give gold stars for participating or for being the best we should involve children in real world activities where the end result of the activity itself is the reward.

children-making-boxes1Teaching them gardening, woodworking, repair skills, fiber arts, sewing, leatherwork, cooking, and so on. Those are important skills that are useful. I am not saying that reading and writing and being able to do sums and such are not. Those are essential for self-directed learning but so very many subjects and things that are taught in public schools today are not necessary, let alone essential, for later life. Those subjects are just taught because they are used for the passing of tests and many are as useful in later life as the proverbial bits on a hog.

Getting them out hiking somewhere with gorgeous views. Teach them to raise animals and care something other than themselves. Have the help out an elderly relative or elderly neighbor. Give them age appropriate chores to do in the home, garden, etc. and making them feel important when they have done so.

When they help you in the garden (I know that to begin with such help can be more a hindrance than help) don't give them plastic or cheap “tin” gardening tools but invest in the small version of the real thing. They can be had. Or, with a little ingenuity, make the bigger tools smaller, and suitable for them.

The same goes for woodworking and such like activities. Years ago one could get real woodworking toolboxes, for instance, for children with real, small, saws, planes,, chisels, hammers, etc. Today, alas, they no longer seem to exist. The fear that kids could hurt themselves with those has done away with this, it would appear.

Our society has lost what is truly important in life. It is time to find it again. It teaches the young ones things – in school – that are more or less unimportant and those things that are important for life and in life it tends to neglect. In fact, often the school system makes those things that are not part of the “curriculum” out as unimportant and actively discourages the pursuit of those despite the fact that those are the things that are important in and for life.

The school system, and no doubt not just in Britain, “teaches” children to pass tests rather than teaches them things for life. Good test results put schools in front in the league tables but it does nothing for the students. The only way to change that is if we either demand the system to change, are able to change it ourselves – and I do not think that those two will happen – or take maters into our own hands, as many people do already, and homeschool or even unschool our kids.

© 2017