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I think you keep them going by keeping it real (for real), being excited about what is happening (at home, school or in the world), and allowing/ecouraging students of all ages to explore what it interesting to them.

 

Persistence, above all. If anyone could come up with a formula to motivate kids of all ages, they would be wealthy instantly.

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possibly being tired of trying over and over again and it is still not working...

 

my dd who learns differently from her sister was so close to giving up. I had to try something new. Had to stop trying to pound her square peg in to a round hole. Had to think outside of traditional school thought processes.

 

No matter how hard she tried in the conventional modes, it just wasn't working.

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I think a lot of it has to do with having goals. If you can't see that school is a step to something else then you lose the ambition to get on to the next step. School becomes something to endure until you are done rather than something that will assist you in your life further on.

 

Society has made it worse (IMHO) because we don't expect our kids to grow up to accomplish great things. We allow 25 yo to continue 'searching' for their purpose instead of expecting them to have some idea of a purpose when they're young. I'm not talking all teenagers wanting to be doctors and lawyers, but having some idea of what they want to do will provide motivation to achieve those goals. KWIM?

 

Just my humble thoughts and ramblings....

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I think part of it is that we (rhetorical) are told as children we can be anything we want to be. As a teen we start to realize that isn't necessarily true because no one is showing us how, no one seems to care too much, and we don't have a clue how to start on our own.

 

I think it is vital that we show our children that the world is bigger than their reality, that (at least in US public schools) they are worth more than a test score, and keep the line of communication open with someone who can help direct their future in the way they want.

 

I just spent two hours watching Michael Palin's Himalaya with my son and really lamenting the fact I had not yet traveled the world as I had hoped. My reasons are exactly what I stated in the first paragraph. No one in my life seemed to care that was my desire and in the days of my youth there wasn't an internet to show anyone how. So I literally gave up my junior year. I graduated a semester early and sailed through my senior year doing as little work as possible.

 

Sorry, didn't mean to turn this into a vent, but it's kind of a sore spot at this very moment.

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I think having some choice would be helpful. Most ps kids have no say in what they study, where they study, how they study, or when they study. They're all put into the same box regardless of learning style or personality or personal goals or aspirations.

 

I've said it before and I'll say it again - not all kids want to or need to read the classics, do higher-level math, or write a dissertation on Neitzsche. Not wanting to and not needing to can lead to not being able to. Failing leads to giving up. When you force everyone to toe the same line, you lose many along the way. IMHO.

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Peela described her son as saying that many of the kids in his high school have given up or don't care about learning. I've seen this too. What makes kids give up? Does it happen in homeschools (I'm sure it must)? What can we do to keep that spark of caring and learning in our kids?

 

I think the most important factor would be parental role modeling. Kids need to see adults who are excited about learning new things, interested in what's going on in the world, curious, asking questions and seeking answers. This love of learning must be a life style. If it is, kids will remain excited as well.

If,OTOH, all the kids see at home are parents vegged out in front of a TV watching soap operas, if the parents don't care about the world, if the kids are hushed when they ask questions, kids will come to the conclusion that THIS is the normal way.

 

I want my kids to be excited and interested about the world. They see us parents try new things, read newspapers and books, discuss issues, find out answers, explore museums, concerts, state parks, meet people from all over the world. They see that we love learning just because it's cool- not for grades or to please somebody else.

 

One other aspect: learning requires effort. Making an effort needs to become a habit. Children who are continuously praised for mediocre work because teachers and parents are afraid their tender self esteem might suffer will not learn to work- and thus be limited in their learning. And things that are tedious are frustrating. So, both schools and parents are damaging students by low expectations. Doing only easy stuff is boring and not stimulating.

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It was easier to be the things my mom said I was in her anger. It was easier to be the rebellious teen...many said I was.

 

My grandfather would try to encourage me, but he wouldn't go against my mother. I remember being in 6th grade and my grandfather offered to pay me $100 for every A. I was already getting A's, and this seemed great to me :001_smile:. My mom said, "No," because she didn't want money to motivate my desire to learn....things started going downhill from there. I really had no motivation.

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When he was 7 he told me he knew kids could quit school when they were 16 and that was his plan : ( he was SO unhappy in school. I kept him there for another 4 years until the situation was completely untenable.

 

I can't speak to all kids but I think for my son it had to do with being a sensitive soul and not feeling he was a part of anything that mattered. He loved learning, and occasionally got a tiny spark of that in school, but those sparks were so overshadowed by a sense he was going through the motions, and those motions were pointless, that he never felt happy in school. I suspect his experience is not that unusual for kids. Even though he went to a pretty good school, with caring teachers and few major behavior problems, he gave up. He is a very bright child with some mild learning issues, and those kinds of kids rarely fare well in conventional schools IMO.

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I think the answer depends on the situation, including the personality type of the person involved.

 

I always had trouble in math. It didn't come easy to me. In 10th grade I had a really really hard time with geometry. I wanted to do well. I wanted to understand geometry. I wanted, not just to pass the class, but to get an A.

 

My mom couldn't help me. My step-dad yelled at me too much (my lack of understanding frustrated him too much). I found another student who offered to tutor me. He was too intent on brushing up against me and trying to look down my shirt. The geometry teacher said I could come in during lunch for extra help. Well, that didn't work either, as he also had other students come in for help at the same time and they ended up discussing television. I exhausted all the resources available to me over the course of the year and couldn't get the help I needed. In the end I had to be satisfied with barely passing the class, taking the hit to my GPA, and still not grasping geometry.

 

I had a goal. I was determined. I tried hard. I looked for help. It didn't work. I gave up when I exhausted all my resources.

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I clearly remember giving up on school sometime around 3rd grade - I don't remember what grade I was in, but I can recall what the classroom looked like, what we were studying at the time, etc.

For me, it was a combination of things.

Boredom. We were counting corners on squares and triangles at the time.

Comparison. I was forever being compared with my sister, who was a people-pleaser and very book smart. Oh, and cute and thin. :glare: I grew up in her shadow, especially at school.

Learning environment. I just wanted to be outside. I hated being cooped up in a classroom. I remember memorizing "I meant to do my work today" around the same time I gave up on school. (Poem: I meant to do my work today but a brown bird sang in the apple tree, and a butterfly flitted across the field...) Yeah. I probably would be diagnosed with add/adhd if I were in school today.

About my only school memory is taking the ITBS and making designs in the little bubbles. I never even read the questions.

 

Later on in school, I begged my dad to let me drop out. He wouldn't let me. I ended up graduating at the bottom of my class, below even the druggies. I decided to go to college as an adult and placed extremely high on my placement exam, then went on to get straight A's through college. And here I had felt stupid the whole time I was in school!

 

My dad did eventually let my younger step-brother drop out of high school. My dad says he regrets that he didn't let me drop out, as he now realizes that letting my step-brother drop out was his best parenting decision. My step-brother, like me, went on to college as an adult and is quite successful.

 

From my experience, I think some children just aren't cut out of the "fill their heads, then test them" method of education. Those that balk at that method of learning are going to tune out.

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High school simply goes on too long, IMO. Those who plan to go to college could handle the work and the pace by 16 and those who do not could handle working full time by then. I'm not sure what the answer would be...well yes I know what I'd like the answer to be, but overhauling the entire school system from K through college doesn't seem feasible. Lack of motivation seems to set in around 16 when the adult brain is beginning to gel and the student realizes there is still 2 more years of waiting around and chomping at the bit for LIFE to begin. I've noticed this even in my homeschooled students which is why early college has been a great tool for us.

 

Barb

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I think a lot of it has to do with having goals. If you can't see that school is a step to something else then you lose the ambition to get on to the next step. School becomes something to endure until you are done rather than something that will assist you in your life further on.

 

Society has made it worse (IMHO) because we don't expect our kids to grow up to accomplish great things. We allow 25 yo to continue 'searching' for their purpose instead of expecting them to have some idea of a purpose when they're young. I'm not talking all teenagers wanting to be doctors and lawyers, but having some idea of what they want to do will provide motivation to achieve those goals. KWIM?

 

Just my humble thoughts and ramblings....

 

Yes!!! I completely agree with this! I really believe that kids should have a good idea of what they plan to do with their lives before they enter high school. Could it change? Yes and that would be ok but they should at least have an initial plan and goal.

 

Recently there was a picture in the local newspaper showing some high schoolers who had recently won academic awards in math and science. They were ALL boys and they were ALL people of color (Indian, Asian, African American).....

 

Why is this? It must have something to do with cultural values.

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...overhauling the entire school system from K through college doesn't seem feasible.

 

And yet that is what has to happen if education is going to get better. These tiny tweaks to a horribly broken system is not going to result in any meaningful (or statistically significant) change. Consistently lowering standards and categorizing students will result in the same type of apathy that is being discussed in this thread.

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Yes!!! I completely agree with this! I really believe that kids should have a good idea of what they plan to do with their lives before they enter high school. Could it change? Yes and that would be ok but they should at least have an initial plan and goal.

 

Surely that's difficult when most kids don't know all that much about what adults outside their house and classroom actually do. It's even harder when the kids don't think they are any good at anything that matters and no one who knows better has anything to say that can convince them otherwise. My mother used to tell me I was good at lots of stuff, but "good person" isn't a profession, so that didn't help much!

 

Recently there was a picture in the local newspaper showing some high schoolers who had recently won academic awards in math and science. They were ALL boys and they were ALL people of color (Indian, Asian, African American).....

 

Heather in NC said when she was adopting her first daughter that the adoption officials asked what profession the girl would become. Maybe there's something to that! Someone else on here said her parents told her and her brother to become engineers. Not told in an "I will accept no opposition" way, but "an engineer is a good thing to be, so until you figure out a better plan, being an engineer will be more useful to you than working in the local fast food joint." I found that very interesting and I've thought ever since that this is something I should do for my kids too. After all, they can always do something different when they have a better plan, but they'd be earning some decent money while they figure that out. That's got to be better than spending 4 years in a fruit shop like I did! Of course I will have to find out what various professions actually do too I'll be able to make sensible suggestions to my kids. What do engineers do anyway? :lol:

 

The guys I went to school with seemed to have given up because they were being told to behave like adults but to submit to being treated like immature children. Of course we all were immature children, but being punished for not being more mature isn't a good way of training anyone to be.

 

Rosie

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I think that one reason kids in ps give up is that school is for square pegs. If you are a round peg (if your gifts are in spatial reasoning, or you are mechanical, etc.) then you are never given challenges that you can be successful in doing. Who wants to fail year after year? I also think that ps fails to help kids connect the dots between what they are learning and real life. More apprenticeships, etc. would, I think, turn things around considerably.

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I think having some choice would be helpful. Most ps kids have no say in what they study, where they study, how they study, or when they study. They're all put into the same box regardless of learning style or personality or personal goals or aspirations.

 

I've said it before and I'll say it again - not all kids want to or need to read the classics, do higher-level math, or write a dissertation on Neitzsche. Not wanting to and not needing to can lead to not being able to. Failing leads to giving up. When you force everyone to toe the same line, you lose many along the way. IMHO.

:iagree:

 

I think the most important factor would be parental role modeling. Kids need to see adults who are excited about learning new things, interested in what's going on in the world, curious, asking questions and seeking answers. This love of learning must be a life style. If it is, kids will remain excited as well.

 

 

I want my kids to be excited and interested about the world. They see us parents try new things, read newspapers and books, discuss issues, find out answers, explore museums, concerts, state parks, meet people from all over the world. They see that we love learning just because it's cool- not for grades or to please somebody else.

 

One other aspect: learning requires effort. Making an effort needs to become a habit. Children who are continuously praised for mediocre work because teachers and parents are afraid their tender self esteem might suffer will not learn to work- and thus be limited in their learning. And things that are tedious are frustrating. So, both schools and parents are damaging students by low expectations. Doing only easy stuff is boring and not stimulating.

:iagree:

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I "gave up" on school. It did not seem relevant to what was on my mind. (I did keep reading a great deal, but all researching what was on my mind, and I think I would have stuck with it if the work had been challenging (I remember doing very well in a demanding bio class, e.g.).)

 

So what was that thing on my mind: how to be a grown up. I read HUNdreds of biographies and autobiographies. I felt very fearful of what I'd heard called "the long run". "In the long run" people would say, and that, to me, was a terrifying time between about 18 and 24 when you sank or swam. I had a very strong visual image of a HUGE canyon, with flat edges, and I was creeping right up to it, and my job was to FILL that canyon so I could take a step forward. I also had a nautical imagine of "crossing the bar".

 

Where I got that notion, I have NO idea. Certainly it was not something we talked about at home, and I have never been able to put a finger on where I got that fear, imaginings, or image, but they were pressing to me.

 

I think, I think, I suspect I felt very responsible for my fate, and, being me (:)) I didn't want to screw up. (It didn't stop me from leaving home at 16 and making my way from there....I was eager to have at it, but scared and focused on doing it right.)

 

So, math, English lit, etc were not on my mind. I hope to prevent this panic stage in my son by more chit chat about what it is like to be adult. Part of my deal, I believe, was that I am from a family of motherly women, and I knew I was not. Too bad I didn't know my GM, both of whom supported their families: one a widow who was County Clerk, and the other with a disabled husband who was a naturopath.

 

I have never seen this discussed or ever heard anyone else mention feeling this way, but it is my individual answer as to why this individual dropped out for several years. I worked low-wage jobs, read, and chewed my nails over what I would be good at. Oh, how I wished I had some center-stage talent, like music, etc. Oh, how I would given anything to "know the way" for me. But I had no shining skill or talent, and I had no idea what to do.

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What do engineers do anyway? :lol:

 

 

my dh is a civil engineer. He deals with water and waste water (works for the city water department)...other civil engineers do structural design or transportation. Very good occupation for people who figure out how things work and how to make them better.

 

The downside...my dh doesn't use gobs of real hard math on a daily basis, but to survive college you've got to be pretty doggone good at math...hard math!!!

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When he was 7 he told me he knew kids could quit school when they were 16 and that was his plan : ( he was SO unhappy in school. I kept him there for another 4 years until the situation was completely untenable.

 

I can't speak to all kids but I think for my son it had to do with being a sensitive soul and not feeling he was a part of anything that mattered. He loved learning, and occasionally got a tiny spark of that in school, but those sparks were so overshadowed by a sense he was going through the motions, and those motions were pointless, that he never felt happy in school. I suspect his experience is not that unusual for kids. Even though he went to a pretty good school, with caring teachers and few major behavior problems, he gave up. He is a very bright child with some mild learning issues, and those kinds of kids rarely fare well in conventional schools IMO.

 

My son was like this too. He gave up in grade 2 age 7- except that thats when I pulled him out to homeschool him. The damage went deep though and he never really seemed to feel confident in himself after that. Now that he is back in school, I am watching that failure programming work its way through already- telling me he is going to fail tests and it doesn't matter- and then also realising he CAN do school and is actually very skilled in SOME areas. I am hoping that he learns to overcome that earlier conditioning- and in a way he needed to return to school to face his fears.

 

But already he is realising- school is a prison, for most kids.

 

If you are the sort of person who likes a lot of external structure and being told what to do, great. Especially great for a government that would like to be able to control people- train them young to accept lots of external authority. But kids know deep down that there must be a better way that is more honouring of them.

 

WHy is it that we treat our kids like that anyway? They HAVE to go then we expect them to be self motivated? The two simply dont go together unless the child is a good fit for school.

 

 

I really believe that kids should have a good idea of what they plan to do with their lives before they enter high school. Could it change? Yes and that would be ok but they should at least have an initial plan and goal.

 

.

 

I dont think I agree with this.

It would be nice if kids did have a good idea, but most dont. Some do.

Here the highschools (which start year 8) put a huge emphasis on getting the kids to choose their subjects according to their future career, at a young age. But even though they get lots of career education- most kids do NOT know what they want to do. And, they also are already turned off by then. It takes maturity to be able to set aside immediate pleasures of childhood (kids live in the present) for long term goals.

 

I also think education for careers should not be confused with true education. I think that is the problem- schools are too career focused. And kids have to narrow down their options too soon. Many kids here are opting for easier subjects just because they are easier.

 

I think the problem might be a mixture of too much catering to the individual, and feelings, and trying to please everybody including all the various political factions- and not enough pure education along the lines of a classical education that most of us have tried to give our kids. My son doesn't bring a novel home for English- they read it in class- and no other kid in the class can read aloud fluently. That says a lot about the type of education they received before now. Probably no one can be trusted to read a book at home.

 

So something went wrong way before highschool. Somehow the foundation is not being laid properly.

 

One thing I noticed when I was a kid was that most adults WERENT HAPPY ANYWAY- yet I was supposed to follow in the steps of my academic relatives- they had a great sense of achievement that they liked to talk about regularly- but they werent happy! . No one gave up on me- I was the star grandchild on both sides, the firstborn on both sides, bright and eager- and expected to go far with a great career. Instead, I left home at 16 and went on a spiritual pilgrimage, didnt see my family for years and never went to university. I did NOT want the path they presumed I would take, for myself- I did NOT see that it made them happy.

 

So- they didn't meet me where I was. They put their ideas onto me and no way was I going to live that life. I have never regretted it.

 

I think that one reason kids in ps give up is that school is for square pegs. If you are a round peg (if your gifts are in spatial reasoning, or you are mechanical, etc.) then you are never given challenges that you can be successful in doing. Who wants to fail year after year? I also think that ps fails to help kids connect the dots between what they are learning and real life. More apprenticeships, etc. would, I think, turn things around considerably.

 

Exactly- but they have those streams in schools here. And it is good for many kids- they get to take apprenticeships. But what I have heard is that in the colleges where the apprentices do their study, their attitude is terrible and they don't turn up to class etc. So, its still the same situation.

 

There are so many factors at play. Social factors like the introduction of technology affecting how long kids can concentrate for. When you can get instant gratification on a computer game, why work hard to study for a maths test? Where is the feedback mechanism that makes you want to do well?

 

I think we live in very changing times and no "system" can change quickly enough to meet the needs of the times, when so much beurocracy is involved in changing systems. They education system here is based on methods they have long discarded in other countries. The system is too big. Unless we take it back to grass roots, to families taking responsibility, to small communities taking responsibility, and decentralise it and disconnect it from political agendas...its never going to work well. Its too big and unwieldy.

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I can't imagine it occurring in a homeschool unless a child has certain special needs that never get met.

 

I've seen case after case of it occurring in school systems because children do not get challenged appropriately, do not have their needs met, are bombarded with endless busy-work, and often do not ever have work checked appropriately after they labor to turn it in.

 

Michael Gurian writes about the problems that boys, in particular, encounter in our current system of education. Boys are results oriented. When there is no purpose to the work, they will eventually just turn off....

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There was something about the Chinese Mothers are superior that I think applies here too. It seems that often in our culture, we have this idea that if we try our best that is good enough and in many other cultures, trying your best is not good enough! They expect straight As or close to it. I really do think a lot of it has to do with the expectations of the parents. Why is it that in the affluent area of the city, their test scores are ALL in the high 90th percentile and in most other areas of the city, they are abysmal and only about 40% of the kids are taking the college entrance exams? Only 40% of them are even thinking about going to college? I find that so ridiculously sad.

 

Without a goal in mind, there's nothing driving them forward. I think it's hard for kids to put together what it means to go to college and how it will affect the rest of their lives. I know that I didn't understand it. I went to college and came out with a Master's degree, but it was almost by mistake. There was ZERO talk in our family about the importance of getting a higher education and in fact I was looked down upon by my family because they began to feel that I thought I was better than everyone else because I went to college. They would often say how I was book smart but had no common sense. Ok then!

 

My nephew's only thoughts are about video games and hanging out with his friends. He is a high school freshman and earning Cs Ds and Fs in most of his classes. He doesn't care. He has no reason to care. Does he think about the future or what he will do? I doubt it. I talked to my sil about this before he started high school and told her that I thought she should make it clear to him that these were the years that would determine if he want to college and the quality of higher education he would receive. She didn't bother to do so. She can look at his grades online and see all of his missing assignments ANY TIME, yet she says she's afraid to look. So when it comes to conferences everyone is shocked to find out he's failing everything with all missing assignments and they cram to get them done and in before the end of the semester and he's lucky to end up with a C or a D. I just do not get it!!! If it were me, I'd be online every single day looking to see that his assignments are done, and the computer and video games would be unplugged until they were.

 

I often see people say that we are mostly done parenting by the time our kids are 14 and that seems to be how my sil feels as well. She will often say that she no longer feels like a mother as he doesn't talk to her about anything anymore. He won't tell her what's going on in school, what's due, what he's learning, etc. In turn, she refuses to look it up for herself because she wants to avoid the conflict. Again, I just don't get it. If kids are so grown up at 14 that we're done parenting, then they are surely old enough to research and decide a possible career path at that time as well. As I said, they could change their mind along the way as they mature...but I feel if they have nothing in mind, no goals, no ideas of where they are heading...then they are heading nowhere.

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I think the most important factor would be parental role modeling. Kids need to see adults who are excited about learning new things, interested in what's going on in the world, curious, asking questions and seeking answers. This love of learning must be a life style. If it is, kids will remain excited as well.

If,OTOH, all the kids see at home are parents vegged out in front of a TV watching soap operas, if the parents don't care about the world, if the kids are hushed when they ask questions, kids will come to the conclusion that THIS is the normal way.

 

I want my kids to be excited and interested about the world. They see us parents try new things, read newspapers and books, discuss issues, find out answers, explore museums, concerts, state parks, meet people from all over the world. They see that we love learning just because it's cool- not for grades or to please somebody else.

 

One other aspect: learning requires effort. Making an effort needs to become a habit. Children who are continuously praised for mediocre work because teachers and parents are afraid their tender self esteem might suffer will not learn to work- and thus be limited in their learning. And things that are tedious are frustrating. So, both schools and parents are damaging students by low expectations. Doing only easy stuff is boring and not stimulating.

 

Words of wisdom. Thank you.

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High school simply goes on too long, IMO. Those who plan to go to college could handle the work and the pace by 16 and those who do not could handle working full time by then. I'm not sure what the answer would be...well yes I know what I'd like the answer to be, but overhauling the entire school system from K through college doesn't seem feasible. Lack of motivation seems to set in around 16 when the adult brain is beginning to gel and the student realizes there is still 2 more years of waiting around and chomping at the bit for LIFE to begin. I've noticed this even in my homeschooled students which is why early college has been a great tool for us.

 

Barb

 

Yes, yes, yes! I am definitely of the same mind, and am yet again encouraging dd to start college at 17. She's ready, she's in the study flow, and she has long years of studies ahead of her; why wait?

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Part of the problem is that our society places absolutely no value on knowledge. We only value education in the sense that, if you have so many years of college, you can make X amount of money. It doesn't matter if you learn anything, it doesn't matter what kind of person you are, but you'd better get that little piece of paper so you can buy a big house in the 'burbs.

 

And so kids grow up with the mindset that they need to memorize only the facts they need to know to get to the next step toward getting a good job. Whether or not they retain the information or take joy in what they've learned just isn't a factor. We need to push education simply for the sake of knowledge. We need to stop saying that college is only useful for getting a job, and that taking classes that don't check off a box for your major is a waste. We need to find some way to measure what a person knows, not how many years they've sat in a desk.

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Why is it that we treat our kids like that anyway?

 

People don't seem to like kids much, let alone teens. They seem to particularly dislike boys. I don't understand why men wouldn't like boys. They ought to understand them, oughtn't they?

 

I also think education for careers should not be confused with true education. I think that is the problem- schools are too career focused. And kids have to narrow down their options too soon. Many kids here are opting for easier subjects just because they are easier.

 

I don't blame them for picking easy subjects, with my memories of year 11 and 12. They tell you to try out different electives to "taste" different areas, but you'll get bad marks if you don't do well, and we all know that it's the mark that matters, not what you learned. We were always told that those years were the basis for the rest of our lives, but they are not and on some level, I think we all knew it. How do you trust adults who are lying to you, kwim? Even worse, when they appear to believe what they are saying! I don't know about the US, but here, you can flunk year 12 and still get into uni if you pass a test after you turn 21. It all takes longer, but it's still entirely possible.

 

Exactly- but they have those streams in schools here. And it is good for many kids- they get to take apprenticeships. But what I have heard is that in the colleges where the apprentices do their study, their attitude is terrible and they don't turn up to class etc. So, its still the same situation.

 

Yeah, well those kids went for apprenticeships because they didn't want to go to school anymore. I'll bet if the classroom components were scrapped and it was all on the job training with the boss sending home any necessary books, they'd work harder.

 

Rosie

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I dont think I agree with this.

It would be nice if kids did have a good idea, but most dont. Some do.

Here the highschools (which start year 8) put a huge emphasis on getting the kids to choose their subjects according to their future career, at a young age. But even though they get lots of career education- most kids do NOT know what they want to do. And, they also are already turned off by then. It takes maturity to be able to set aside immediate pleasures of childhood (kids live in the present) for long term goals.

 

I also think education for careers should not be confused with true education. I think that is the problem- schools are too career focused. And kids have to narrow down their options too soon. Many kids here are opting for easier subjects just because they are easier.

 

 

In the States, you don't get to choose subjects according to a future career in high school and there is no career education. There are some alternative high schools that teach some vocational type courses, but the schools are more seen as a place for student who are failing regular high school, not for students who really are interested in the vocations taught (at least the votech high school where I live is where the problem students were sent).

 

I find what you said very interesting. I always thought if the states did what you described above that it would help students not quit, but would help them focus on what they could do after high school instead of seeing it as a waste. General education is really pushed here.

 

I had no desire to quit, but when I was in high school I felt like I was in a holding pattern until I got to college.

 

I wonder if this is more of a developmental stage people go through?

 

It is interesting that the Amish let they young adults, starting around age 16, have much more freedom and don't require a commitment to the ordnung until a young adult reaches the as age 21 or so.

Maybe young adults have always act this way no matter what is presented before them.

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I think that children need to be raised and nurtured in an environment that truly values learning. They should see the adults in their lives actively seeking knowledge on a regular basis, and they should be encouraged to do the same.

 

I think that children need to be held to a higher standard than many of them are. That doesn't mean that earning high marks is the end all and be all; it simply means that they should be putting forth a strong effort most of the time (we all have our off days, of course). However, a student who is persistently putting forth minimal effort is not motivated to learn, and that needs to be addressed.

 

I think children need to be encouraged to set goals for themselves, and they need to be supported as they strive to reach those goals. They need to feel that the adults in their lives (parents, teachers) value their ideas and will do their best to help them explore their interests. Many children are told that they can be anything they want to be, but many parents do not take the time to help children learn more about what interests them, or to arrange experiences in which their children can get a feel for their interests. I think it speaks volumes to children when adults take the time to do those things for them and with them.

 

Mostly, I think children need to feel valued and respected. Sadly, many simply do not.

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In the States, you don't get to choose subjects according to a future career in high school and there is no career education.

 

How true is this anymore? In our county the high schools have academies. They are business, education, medical, ROTC, etc. They even have what they call a middle school blitz where the middle schoolers spend time learning about each different academy before they make a decision. I don't think its required for all but they are considered the tracks to be on. All zoned schools still have a non-college track as well. They list a high school course catalog just like our colleges do as well and the students pick based on their track.

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Someone else on here said her parents told her and her brother to become engineers. Not told in an "I will accept no opposition" way, but "an engineer is a good thing to be, so until you figure out a better plan, being an engineer will be more useful to you than working in the local fast food joint."

 

I actually said this to my dc's yesterday! We were talking about potential careers and I was getting things like, "Were just going to live with you!" :001_huh: "No, you will be an Engineer or a Nurse or a Dr. Those are you your choices for now."

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How true is this anymore? In our county the high schools have academies. They are business, education, medical, ROTC, etc. They even have what they call a middle school blitz where the middle schoolers spend time learning about each different academy before they make a decision. I don't think its required for all but they are considered the tracks to be on. All zoned schools still have a non-college track as well. They list a high school course catalog just like our colleges do as well and the students pick based on their track.

 

There is nothing like that where I live. We do have ROTC and there are college prep, honors and AP classes. They don't even offer general classes anymore at our local high school. I think they have up'ed graduation requirement to the point where you have to have 4 years of English, science, math ( algebra is required) history, plus 1 year of PE, foreign language and computer skills. There is not much room left to take anything you might be interested in learning.

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In the States, you don't get to choose subjects according to a future career in high school and there is no career education. There are some alternative high schools that teach some vocational type courses, but the schools are more seen as a place for student who are failing regular high school, not for students who really are interested in the vocations taught (at least the votech high school where I live is where the problem students were sent).

 

It depends on your local and state school system. A few years ago, Florida passed a statute requiring all high school students to state a "major." Our county is structured such that students choose a high school based on their interest: banking, aeronautics, medical, landscaping, arts, etc. I'm sure much of the core is the same, but there is some specialization. And obviously, this is not binding on the students post-high school. But it bugs me to no end that political/school authorities want a 14-yo to choose a major. :001_huh:

 

Lisa

 

Woops, missed FLmom's reply, which pointed out Florida's wonderfully creative ideas.

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It depends on your local and state school system. A few years ago, Florida passed a statute requiring all high school students to state a "major." Our county is structured such that students choose a high school based on their interest: banking, aeronautics, medical, landscaping, arts, etc. I'm sure much of the core is the same, but there is some specialization. And obviously, this is not binding on the students post-high school. But it bugs me to no end that political/school authorities want a 14-yo to choose a major. :001_huh:

 

Lisa

 

Woops, missed FLmom's reply, which pointed out Florida's wonderfully creative ideas.

 

I'm not sure if it's like this anymore but a number of years ago I tutored a high school student in Oregon. She had to declare a "major" by grade 10. I got called on the carpet by her guidance counselor because I was tutoring her in Algebra and that didn't help her in her major. It made this liberal arts person hot under the collar because I think learning Algebra is worth it whether you use it in your major or not!

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When I was in high school, I gave up in math and it was directly because of a terrible teacher that I had.

 

As a background, in my jr high/high school, I was on the accelerated(gifted) track which included all subjects. I was rightfully placed there in all subjects but math. I was pushed along faster than I should have been and struggled greatly in all math subjects. It also meant that to fulfill my 3rd required math credit, I had to take Advanced Math (pre-calculus). I fought hard to get C's. Right before Christmas, I came down with mono and missed a few weeks of school. After I got back, I went every day after school to be tutored by my teacher. I worked hard and still got a 36 on my midterm. I kept plugging along and one day, I went up in class to ask a question. She, in front of the class, said to me, "Don't be stupid. You know that. Sit down." From that day on, I did nothing in her class. I wrote my name on tests and turned them in. She finally broke me. I got an F in her class, got kicked out of National Honor City (of which she was advisor) and was told again by her that by getting a D in her class for the year, I would never get into a good college and that my future was pretty much done for. Unfortunately, I suffered in silence and did not tell my Mom that any of this had occurred until the next year. My Mom did BTW tell her off.

 

I did however get my revenge when the next year at our school's honor banquet, she had to announce in the list with others that not only had I gotten into a private college but it was with an academic scholarship. Her class, ultimately, meant nothing.

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Most likely to give up--anyone who doesn't fit the mold.

 

Too smart or not smart enough. Or, not taught the fundamentals well but socially promoted anyway, with little remediation available at higher grades.

 

One good thing about the old one-room school system, there was less shame and notice in being behind, and it was not a bother for the teacher, who was already teaching all the levels anyway. There was also less problem with working ahead.

 

Interestingly, if you look at the literacy data, the places with the most one-room schools had the highest literacy rates. (Data from an interesting book about One-Room Schools that I found in our local library, "One-Room Schools in the Middle West.")

 

Homeschooling should have less of this problem, I would think, since we are freer to pick our curriculum and take into account the needs and level of the student.

 

History in school made me not want to learn about history. Now, I enjoy reading about history, but I didn't read anything about history for about 10 years after I graduated, its treatment in schools is horrible.

 

I was a biology major in collage. Most of us enjoyed animals more than plants. My botany teacher was overflowing with joy and enthusiasm for his subject, he made the class much more interesting than it would have been otherwise. (Still not my favorite biology class, but I appreciated him as a teacher. I saw him on NOVA years later, they introduced him as "coming up next, a renowned paleo-botanist," and I thought to myself, "Hmmm, how many paleo-botanists are there, I wonder?")

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Interestingly, if you look at the literacy data, the places with the most one-room schools had the highest literacy rates. (Data from an interesting book about One-Room Schools that I found in our local library, "One-Room Schools in the Middle West.")

 

 

 

This book was one of the books used by PBS for their Frontier Life series. I've just now ordered it from interlibrary loan. I hope they fill my request.:)

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This book was one of the books used by PBS for their Frontier Life series. I've just now ordered it from interlibrary loan. I hope they fill my request.:)

 

I hope so, too!! It was very interesting.

 

I later read his "Morality and the Mail in 19th Century America," it was actually even more fascinating, here is its review:

 

Morality and the Mail in Nineteenth-Century America explores the evolution of postal innovations that sparked a communication revolution in nineteenth-century America. Wayne E. Fuller examines how evangelical Protestants, the nation's dominant religious group, struggled against those transformations in American society that they believed threatened to paganize the Christian nation they were determined to save. Drawing on House and Senate documents, postmasters general reports, and the Congressional Record, as well as sermons, speeches, and articles from numerous religious and secular periodicals, Fuller illuminates the problems the changed postal system posed for evangelicals, from Sunday mail delivery and Sunday newspapers to an avalanche of unseemly material brought into American homes via improved mail service and reduced postage prices. Along the way, Fuller offers new perspectives on the church and state controversy in the United States as well as on publishing, politics, birth control, the lottery, censorship, Congress's postal power, and the waning of evangelical Protestant influence.

 

All kinds of fascinating historical connections I had never know about before.

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In the States, you don't get to choose subjects according to a future career in high school and there is no career education. There are some alternative high schools that teach some vocational type courses, but the schools are more seen as a place for student who are failing regular high school, not for students who really are interested in the vocations taught (at least the votech high school where I live is where the problem students were sent).

 

I find what you said very interesting. I always thought if the states did what you described above that it would help students not quit, but would help them focus on what they could do after high school instead of seeing it as a waste. General education is really pushed here.

 

I had no desire to quit, but when I was in high school I felt like I was in a holding pattern until I got to college.

 

I wonder if this is more of a developmental stage people go through?

 

It is interesting that the Amish let they young adults, starting around age 16, have much more freedom and don't require a commitment to the ordnung until a young adult reaches the as age 21 or so.

Maybe young adults have always act this way no matter what is presented before them.

 

Thats interesting. Yes, kids can specialise here through highschool although not intensely till years 11 and 12. When I say specialise- they still have to do their basic subjects but can pick electives that reflect their interests from year 8, and there are also many specialist streams- so at my son's school there is an art program and a tennis program that talented kids can apply for- even from other districts. By years 11 and 12 there is very definitely specialisation and one has to choose then (around age 15) whether or not one goes to university or the TAFE system or apprenticeships- and it doesn't seem to prevent kids from giving up. And there is definitely career education.

I suspect the issue is multi faceted and there is no simple answer.

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I have not read all the replies yet, but I wanted to say that I was one of those kids that gave up. I did everything I could not to turn in homework assignments, I failed tests, I did just enough to pass barely.

Looking back I can see a few things that caused this attitude.

I was lazy and unmotivated. There were no consistent consequences at home when I did poorly in school. I was the same way at home. Content to just lay in my room all day watching T.V., listening to the radio, reading fiction books. Looking back I really wish my parents had given me consequences for my laziness. I wish they'd encouraged me to be more ambitious.

I had very little self confidence. I was convinced I would fail. I still struggle with this. It's a paralyzing fear. I was always afraid I would not measure up. It stopped me from doing projects and homework assignments.

I never learned good study habits. Honestly, I just did not know how to learn. I was disorganized and overwhelmed.

I did not understand the importance. Looking back I really wish me now could talk to me then. I would shake some sense into that girl! Youth truly is wasted on the young. :001_smile:

These are just some of the things I have discovered on my retrospective journey.

Please forgive any grammatical errors. It's almost 4 a.m. and I was awakened by low blood sugar. I signed on here while I had my snack.

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I think part of it is that we (rhetorical) are told as children we can be anything we want to be.

 

 

I don't believe that everyone has the brains to be a particle physicist or the physique to succeed at basketball. Of course we can all work hard to do the best that we can, but we can't necessarily do what we set our minds to.

 

I think, instead, that we should encourage children to find their talents and pursue them. I would never say, "You're not smart enough to be a brain surgeon" but nor would I say, "You can be anything you want to be," because I don't think it's true.

 

Laura

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