The Sad Truth About American Students
This has been a hard year for many students in the United States. Many Dyslexic children and students with ADHD feel left behind in the wake of Common Core curriculum and standardized testing. These kids feel like they are dumb. They are losing their confidence and love for learning. What is really sad is that before they started school they were some of the most brilliant and eager learners! What happened?
As little children these students once had a natural desire to discover, explore, figure things out, learn, and invent new things... almost every day! Sadly, in the new American classroom there is very little room for kids to learn through curiosity, creativity, play and experimentation. These children are often gifted learners with high IQs, and yet they are falling behind in school. Why? Because of current learning methods and stress caused by standardized testing. Change needs to happen before some of our most amazing kids lose hope in their own ability to become someone great.
What is their hope? If they are not in "year round school" their hope right now is SUMMER vacation. Mom and dad, summer is your chance to feed your child's spirit by giving them the chance to learn, grow and live the way kids were meant to experience life.
Maybe you have thought about homeschooling, changing schools, or even unschooling your child, because you know that the current methods are failing your child. You know that your child is not a failure, the system is. So what will you do? What kind of changes are you willing to make so your child can face the future with confidence and curiosity once again?
Turn back the clock, flip back to the early years. Before your child started school he or she was the type that asked a million questions a day "Why is the sky blue?" and "How many stars are there?" and "What if dogs are people on other planets?" and "Where do butterflies go when it rains?" Your child was full of questions because children were designed to learn this way. Every child is naturally an investigative science major... until they get on the yellow bus and are told to sit still and listen and stop asking questions. Thank God, summer is coming! And, thank God, you are the parent, and you can make better choices for your child than the government can.
Statistics say that kids stop asking questions at around age 6 or 7. Parents who unschool and homeschool know that the questions never stop, if the answers keep coming. You know that 4 year olds ask their moms at least 288 questions per day. Once kids start going to school the questions stop, because their brains are being reprogrammed to numbly absorb the information being fed to them. In general they stop learning through discovery and play - unless the play includes a screen.
Statistics also show that busy parents and school aged children spend about 19 minutes per day interacting with each other, and only 7 minutes in conversation.
Hopefully your child is not the average child, but you should know these facts and decide for your family what your goals are:
1. Children are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago.
2. Today, kids 8-18 years old devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes using entertainment media in a typical day (more than 53 hours a week).
3. In a typical week, only 6% of children ages 9 -13 play outside on their own.
4. American students ages 6 through 17 spend 3 hours and 38 minutes per week doing homework.
5. Studetns who attend public schools spend about 50 hours a year on standardized testing, they may also spend more than 100 hours preparing for tests. Not preparing in the sense of learning math or reading in general, but in the sense of learning the specific things that will be tested.
6. The average FB mom spends 42 minutes per day on Facebook. We won't mention Pinterest!
Parents, life is short, for those who are nearing 40 like I am... you may have realized that life on earth is about half over, at best. Childhood is even quicker, and not a moment should be wasted. What are you going to do with the rest of the time you have been given? How are you going to help your child make the most of his or her fleeting seasons of childhood? My prayer for you is that everyday would have the warm and free feeling of summer vacation, and that you and your children would enjoy time together, learning, playing, asking questions and discovering the answers.
By Sarah Janisse Brown - Author of Windows to Our World and Inventor of Dyslexia Games www.DyslexiaGames.com -
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