Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Race to Nowhere

When I took a Social Problems class as a freshman in college the course focused mainly on drugs, sex, and poverty.  I think the real social problem now is what we are doing to our children. 

Children are expected to perform flawlessly at school with a curriculum that is age inappropriate.  Then they are overscheduled at home.   When do kids get to be kids?  The first two years of their lives before they are enrolled in an overpriced rigorous academic preschool? 

Why are we doing this to our future?  I think we can all agree that the school system is broken.  That needs to be addressed before President Obama lengthens the school year.  How would more days of school in a broken system with burned out teachers protected by unions help American students keep up with students of other countries?  It doesn’t even make sense. 

And why would we want to keep up with other countries when those countries choose career paths for their children before they are even half a decade old? 

Can you imagine your job being what you dreamed of doing as a three year old?  Space cowboy, dinosaur, flying nun, super hero. 

I have read that employers are not looking for straight A students.  They are looking for graduates who can problem solve, are creative, and can think for themselves.  If you think you are not contributing to the race to nowhere go count how many toys are in your house that talk, blink, sing, and otherwise do all the playing for your child.  I know I have a lot. 

Dennis Waitley said it best when he said:

“We’re not all designed to be straight A students, celebrities, world-class athletes or the CEO of a major corporation.  But we are designed to make the most of the skills and abilities we do possess.  Perhaps the most splendid achievement of all is the continuing quest to surpass ourselves.”

Americans need to adopt a less is more philosophy all across the board.  Less extra curricular activities.  Less emphasis on regurgitating information like a machine instead of a person.  Less homework.  Yes, practice is important but hours and hours of it because everything is of such critical importance?  No.  Less is more.  Let’s get out of the race to nowhere.  Let’s let kids be kids again. 

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