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Posts Tagged ‘school’

I’d say it takes a lot of guts to directly educate your children……except that it doesn’t.   It actually takes far more guts to entrust your children to the bizarre, antiquated system of education that exists today in America.

I was educated at a great public school.   I had more than one amazing teacher that took interest in me and helped me do more than get by.  This is not the average experience.  It’s not even the common experience. I was VERY fortunate.

Here’s reality…. only 17% of the adult US population gets an undergraduate college degree.    The textbook industry is worth over $12 billion / year in the US (or here if you prefer).  And 18% of kids in k-12 are obese.   and I can find sooooo many more facts to support the idea that having kids sit in classrooms obsessing over shitty textbooks under the pretense of getting into college is one of the WORST IDEAS EVER.

The fact is I’m a guy (a uchicago guy too) who has hired and fired a lot of people in the working world.  I’ve hired more and more people over ODesk, Amazon MT, and other crowd sourcing options than the typical prep school, college, intern feeder system.  AND i’m a parent of an 8 and 10 year old.   The gig is up.   The typical way to make a living isn’t worth it any more.

The conclusion.

Either we’re teaching kids to figure it out on their own or we’re not.   Teaching them the same old system and the same old “this is how my dad it” is a recipe in futility and poverty.   The new world order is about access and tooling and synthesis, not facts and testing.  Our kids need to learn how to not just problem solve but set up the problem.  Our kids need to learn what problems matter at all.

And that takes experience and time.  If you are trying to teach them courage for the sake of courage please do keep them chasing rote knowledge that we will automate before they graduate.  Then we’ll see if they can survive against all odds.

For me, I’m playing the odds and teaching my kids to understand the odds and their own responsibility for their education.

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Man, I really didn’t expect to think this way as a father.

It’s the last day of school and my wife and I are ecstatic!   Like run from the building pouring your locker contents into the trash as you go ecstatic!

Why?!

Being an active parent in the school community AND working to pay the bills AND trying to be a social human being is damn near impossible.  Maybe it’s us, our community, our school, our work…  but I don’t think so.

Summer gives us a chance to take a break.  Mornings don’t have to start and crank up to 11 by 6:15am.  Everyday doesn’t have to be non-stop from dawn to 9pm.  We don’t have to go to parent meetings, boosters, flings, sales, conferences, clean ups, lock downs or whatever right in the middle of the day.  And, yup, there’s far less drama from the kids… fewer hurt feelings, confusions, messed up schedules, illnesses.

Was it always this way?  (Seriously, someone tell me it was.  I’ll feel less crazed.)

Many of these things are necessary to provide kids a great launch into their own lives.   And we have to pay the bills and socialize.   There’s got to be a better balance though.   I’m definitely not the only dad who has ratio strain right now (more energy going out than is coming back in).

If you’re wondering… yes, I’ve read the 4 hour work week and done the Tony Robbins thing and “do only the most important things”.   It’s just frickin’ hard.   Maybe the lack of tangible progress on community development, creation of value and wealth creation makes the ratio strain seem so much worse.   There’s something to be said for working the land to feed your family and homeschooling…. then again, maybe we’d lose more than we gain in going for a less busy approach.

and with that… SCHOOL’S OUT… and I’m happy.

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