The Big Dumb-Down?

Is it just me, or are we purposely dumbing down what used to be a “regular” education? Of course, for someone my age, a “regular” education meant learning about American and world history, our presidents and how they affected our country, cursive writing (and oh, how proud we were when we “graduated” from printing to cursive!), current events, home economics, shop, grammar, and so on. These were basics for us.

Now I hear that many schools do not teach our history, do not teach cursive (because everyone texts and uses smart phones and computers), and do not offer home economics or shop.

Here is why the “old basics” matter:

  1. Knowing about our country’s history reminds us of how we got our freedoms and why this makes America different from so many other countries. It also teaches us that freedom is hard-won and paid for in blood.
  2. Knowing about how our presidents makes us watchful about which presidents we want to lead our country in the future.
  3. Knowing how to write in cursive means that you have an actual and unique signature that no one else has. When asked to sign a person’s name these days, what do they do; write “X”?
  4. Knowing how to manage a household: this means that you know how to balance and maintain a household budget, how to mend clothing and sew on a button, prepare basic and nourishing meals, how to properly clean and maintain a house and vehicle, how to balance a bank statement; these are life skills that we all need to know.
  5. Knowing how to use tools properly and make basic items like a table, a spice rack, and so on, plus learning how to maintain tools and equipment will pay off in the short and long run and save you money.
  6. Knowing how to speak and write properly is the mark of an intelligent human being. As the saying goes, “you can tell all you need to know about a person by the company he keeps” also means that what you say and how you say it matters.

I am purposely not going to bring parenting into this post. I have my own ideas about it, but my experience only comes from being excellently parented myself. I do not have children of my own, and my granddaughters are being raised by wonderful and smart parents.

Now I could well be a tottering old dinosaur who isn’t “with it” as far as schooling goes. Perhaps our future will be brighter and better when folks of my age and older finally sink into our own tar pits. Life goes on, and schooling no doubt will as well.

My hope for our childrens’ future is that they themselves will come into their own, and demand to know all that there is to know, that they strive to bring their amazing talents and gifts into this world and be all that they can be. I think that these kids will make a world-changing difference for the good, no matter what their education may be.

I look at my oldest granddaughter, Ava, who just turned six years old. She is smart, inquisitive, bold, funny, creative, fearless, kind, loving and opinionated. I believe in her generation, and, if I am lucky enough to live to see the change that she and her contemporaries will bring to this world, I can die a happy woman.

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