LOOK OUT!

Be careful, everybody. I am typically averse to the collision of my work and personal lives. I like both, I just don’t let encourage them to mix very often. But my work, related to learning and the like, is colliding with my personal/family life as I read some blog posts. So, I thought I’d post a few thoughts here and see if anyone feels like I do, or feels like talking about them… (Mom? I’m talking to you…)

I started here, a post from Fred Wilson. Fred Wilson writes on Venture Capital and emerging technologies, and I read him for fun and to pay attention to emerging tools. Today, he stepped into my world by talking about learning.

That led me to this fascinating post… from someone I’ve never once read. This is, to me, a courageous message to send to your kids. I ask myself… am I ready to send them this kind of message?

And from there, I ended up in this particular comment, which brings me back to questions I ask myself all them time.

I have real complaints about school. It takes up such an obscene amount of time. How much of that time is well spent? Just last night, Jenn was talking to our neighbor Janet about their weekend. Janet’s kids are brilliant. They went on a trip Saturday, and that meant that they spent the entirety of Sunday doing homework. Literally, the whole day. Is that useful? Is that something I want for my kids?

Before I had kids, I would have spoken out aggressively against home schooling. The home schooled kids that I encountered as a camp counselor were not well adjusted. Their social skills were lacking (it is, I think, part of why they were sent to camp).

But now? I am uncertain. My kids go to school in one of the top districts in the nation (Brentwood High ranks 192nd according to Newsweek). The report card on Lipscomb Elementary is very high. And yet, I still come many days wondering if their time was well spent.

So, my only conclusion right now is that I have doubt. I’m thinking about it. I’m not going to do anything rash (have no fear). But, I’m thinking about it a lot. I’m thinking about it when Oakley tells me that she already knows everything they’re doing in class. I’m thinking about it when Aspen has to do homework, even though she’s getting 100’s on spelling pretests and she spent 7 hours at school that day.

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