Lesson: I was recently looking through a book that I read years ago and I came across a note that I wrote myself in the margin. The note said, “be mindful of this when you have children and share with other parents.” Well, I guess that ‘s now, so here goes. 🙂 The book was “Push Has Come to Shove, Getting our Kids the Education They Deserve.” The author, Dr. Steve Perry, who at the time was one of CNN’s education contributors, was very candid and insightful in his writings. The suggestion that he made that led me to write the note to myself was about conducting an “academic audit” in your home. In essence, he was proposing that parents take a look at how they show value for education in their home.
Below I will list 2 areas to assess, in order to conduct an academic or education audit in your home.
1- Assess the money spent on books and learning games vs. technological entertainment in your home: Literally count how many books are in the home. Do we have any bookcases where our children or guests can freely grab a book and read anytime? Do we have toys and games available that challenge our children’s minds and help them to learn something new? Now assess how many technological devices, games or DVD’s are in the home? What message are we sending to our children about the value of education if we invest more money on entertainment than we do on things that can feed their mind and help them learn?
2-Assess how we model valuing education: Do our children see us read? Do our children see us personally get excited about learning something new or taking a class to gain some knowledge in a new area? Do we show just as much enthusiasm about our children finally getting that math concept figured out as we do when they score the game-winning shot at the basketball game or are selected for the cheerleading squad? What do our children observe us watching on TV in our home? Are we watching the history channel or the latest reality show? We send unspoken messages to our children about what we value with our actions, conversations and how we spend our time.
Application: Once you have processed the questions listed above, identify a few areas where you can make some adjustments to show value for education in your home.