Yesterday, today and tomorrow

Back to school…

This morning my timeline was filled with photos of children heading back to school.  I must admit, there was more than one photo that caught me off guard.  Facebook does this because it allows us to connect with friends we don’t necessarily see very often.  As a result, we see photos of children we remember as infants who are now making their way through school. Time flies.  My kid is starting university this week.

On days like this, it is easy to get nostalgic.  We may look back through our mind’s eye to the many first days of school that we have had with our children.  We may think about that first day of kindergarten, dropping our child off in a room filled with toys, books and activities especially well-suited to learning.  We may remember the gentle smile on the face of our child’s first teacher.  There is something about kindergarten teachers.  They have a way of making children and parents feel at ease.

We may also search ourselves for memories from our own school days.  I remember when somebody had given our class an appliance box – I think from a stove.  Our teacher allowed us to decorate it and create a playhouse.  At the time, I was the only one small enough to go inside so I had full reign of what to do there.

A lot has changed since I went to school.  Back then, we walked to and from school with our siblings and friends.  There was no expectation that we would be driven to school – we had two legs, we walked.  Nap time was part of kindergarten.  Most children went home for lunch.  At the time, it was still possible for families to survive on a single income.

Back in my time, there wasn’t a lot of technology in schools.  Teachers wrote on chalkboards and we neatly copied notes and did questions in our lined books. Research was done using encyclopaedias and card catalogues in libraries.  When computers did finally appear in schools, these were used only in computer classes where students learned to program, saving their work onto cassettes.

Students today might find all of this a bit tedious.  Internet search engines like Google are way more efficient than indexes and card catalogues.  In fact, some may already have voice technology at home – meaning they can ask a box a question and get answers for most of their queries.

There are definite advantages to becoming proficient in such resources.  These are important tools not only for education but for life.  Through the Internet, I was able to find out how to install crown molding.  I also use it extensively for research for posts.  Access to and use of these resources by students provides an important foundation on which our children can develop a future that will again be different from what we know today.

Google “children preparing for jobs that don’t exist” and you will find a variety of posts highlighting that upwards of 65% of children in primary school will end up in jobs that don’t already exist.  To prepare, our children need problem-solving skills and proficiency with technology so that what they don’t learn at school can be accessed when needed.  This is the task of the school system today.  The way we educate, needs to shift and change to meet the future needs of the students.  It is not an easy task and, sometimes, it means that parents need to adjust their sense of what learning is in order to better support our children.  Such is the reality of the 21st century.  So, let’s grab our phones, take and post those first day of school photos and then get friendly with google so we are ready when our kids get homework.

Are you ready?  Let us know what you think in the comments.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/