reply to post by Notheycant
What do you guys think about the current state of public education
How to help kids?
Read them stories every night from the time they are born.
Teach them to read as soon as the can hold a book and look at pictures.
Teach them computer literacy and safety before they are five years old.
Answer their questions honestly.
And never, ever talk down to them because they're kids. Just talk to them normally.
That's what I did anyway and it worked out pretty good.
Totally agree - an important part of teaching them to read early is that you're teaching them skills as a shared, bonding experience, and that
reading, and learning to read, is important to you , the parent. Reading to them, and preparing them to read, every night, consistently, is a great
Teaching and emphasizing pre-reading and reading skills is both means and end - learning to read well is a tool that opens up reading for pleasure,
which opens up all kinds of avenues for learning and thinking and experience.
And I'll bet you if you were to look at the top 10 graduates of any high school or Ivy League college, that the difference between them and the
bottom or middle 10 was the ages they began reading for pleasure. You set these patterns early - before "school" even begins for most kids.
I'd also recommend setting standards and expectations - I never cared that my kid couldn't solve differential equations in first grade - but what I
did care was that they learned to their capacity, and to continue to push back the boundaries of what they knew, and developed proper academic work
habits - like a lot of kids of my generation with laissez-faire parenting styles, I never really learned those habits, just kind skated by - until I
hit the more advanced classes in high school and college, and suddenly found I didn't have the tools to work independently.
Finally, kids need different experiences - while it's important to learn to read, to write, to do math, etc, etc, they also need playtime, to play
sports, to learn to bait a hook, how to use carpentry tools, how to cook a meal, change a tire, grow vegetables, etc, etc, etc.
I think the biggest mistake made in teaching our kids is we don't teach our kids - we just leave it to other people, and abdicate our responsibility.
You don't need some super-cool hippy-dippy set of books like above - you just need to be there, early, often, and consistently. Teach them to
think, to be responsible, to be ethical and respectful, to defend themselves and others, and teach them the importance of being educated.