I have had several teaching moments this week I want to chat about. The first one was looking through some old drafts I have saved and just left alone because of FEAR. As I reread them I was surprised at how much I had shared and how open I had been about my opinions and experiences on certain issues. I guess that is the reason they are still in my draft folder...because they are too REAL.
That brings me to my second lesson and that came to me through a wonderful conversation I had midweek with the lovely Kesha from Uncommonchick.com. Her brand focuses on living your best Extraordinary Life, your Truth and facing your Fears. Our phone conversation was very informative and encouraging. Just the right push I needed to continue working on my own true path. Go check her out it is full of humor and lots of love.
My third lesson ties in with the first two and that was this news clip I came across in regards to information in a school textbook.
A ninth grader working on his school World Geography/History lesson came across misrepresentation of a major part of our Geography/History. He showed it to his mother and his mother chose to step forward instead of hiding back. The lesson was on Slavery and Slaves being described as "Workers" and not being truthful on depicting the forced migration. She was able to contact the publishers to make some adjustments but as she pointed out that won't be enough in the long run.
That made me think of the countless times my daughter would comment on similar things while she was growing up and doing her own home work. When she was in elementary school and would talk to me about what she was learning in her own History classes or Science class or English class. How during her years in H.S. she would comment on it being more acceptable to actually disagree and question some of the things she had read growing up and how today when she sits with me and speaks about her College classes she still refers to her younger years as a time of being taught lies.
As a parent I surely don't want to hear this and have no idea on even how to go about making any changes but this mom in this article showed me that in just acknowledging it and speaking about it something can be done even if just in your home or with your peers.
For so long we have allowed so many truths to be swept under the rug and for so many people to be devalued. For so long we have continued to just go along with the program as if the program wasn't flawed.
When as parents we continue to allow our children to believe the things they read and hear knowing they are not true we are not being good parents. We may not be able to go back and have every textbook rewritten but we can surely start educated conversations at home. We can discuss with more knowledge and better tools subject matters that we know more information about today.
We know now that many of the lessons in textbooks about Native Americans and Spanish Explores for example do not paint the whole picture. We also know that depending on where you grow up and what you are able to have access to is what allows you to become more educated and again give all people the value they deserve.
Allowing our children to question and form their own opinions is priceless. We should never extinguish that light or tenacity.
So what can we do as parents to ensure that what our children are learning and what we are investing our hard earn money on is of value? I certainly won't suggest we actually read our kids textbooks ourselves because most of us just don't have that sort of time but I will suggest the following:
-have daily wrap up conversations on what they have learned in school that day
-encourage them to share on a particular lesson and hear their take on it
-keep things lite, don't be overbearing in your delivery of what your take is but instead encourage additional research
-go on dates to the library or museums
-sit with your child on the computer and research together
-make learning fun
-teach them respect and to value all human life
-encourage them to learn about other cultures and religions so that they may respect even if they don't agree
-encourage free thinking. they don't have to believe everything the Teacher says, they should feel they have the right to question and do so with respect
illustration by unknown
These are just a few suggestions there are many many ways to help our children become better informed. These suggestions and tools can very well be carried over to our personal lives as well. Sometimes as we become adults we tend to try and sugar coat or wash away our past mistakes and history. We begin to omit certain parts of ourselves as we meet and begin to build with others but what we fail to understand and respect is that nothing in the end is hidden.
History whether its world or personal will always repeat itself if we don't learn the lessons in the mistakes left behind. We can't build on lies we have seen the results time and time again. We see it daily on the news in Corporations, we see it in human Suffering and we see it in our neighbors backyard.
I started my post with my comments on my draft folder and FEAR. I said I couldn't believe how REAL I had been so I imagine that must be the case with those that sit down to write about world events. Honoring our History Truthfully may not be easy but it is far less painful in the long run.
What do you think? Is teaching our children some of the harsh realities of life early on a good parenting skill or something we should try to avoid for as long as possible? Do you think that not questioning the education system is beneficial to our society? What are your thoughts on personal history? Is it ever ok to paint a different picture of our past?
Please stop to comment and share your thoughts, let's start a conversation.
Always stress free xo