School is out for the summer! As a parent, I think I looked forward to this day even more than my children did. Yes, it was nice not to have to worry about homework every night and multiple trips to the school each day. But even more than that, I viewed it as the opportunity to re-direct our energies to projects and time commitments that would benefit our family. It meant more time to practice musical instruments. Girls could do a sewing project or learn how to make bread. Boys could clean out the garage, mow lawns and spread mulch. I’ve missed the “summer help” so much since the kids all left home.
I heard a talk the other night in which the speaker listed the seven greatest problems facing schools today. They were:
2. School Dropouts
3. Sexually Transmitted Disease/Pregnancy
5. Oppositionally Defiant Behavior
The speaker then compared these problems with the seven greatest problems facing schools in the 1940s – the decade when I started school. They were:
1. Talking out of Turn
2. Chewing Gum
3. Making Noise
4. Cutting in Line
5. Breaking Dress Standards
6. Running in the Halls
Wow! Perhaps we need to get back to the basics of behavior again. Perhaps children need summers full of fewer vacations, fewer movies, fewer play dates, fewer video games, less swimming, less playing, less shopping, less money, less free time. I love this quote from a friend, “You Can Never Get Enough of What You Don’t Need.”-- Mary Ellen Edmunds. What kids do need is more jobs, more accountability, more work, more attention, more time with parents, more responsibility, more exercise, more reading, more quiet time, more thinking. Yeah, I know. That’s easy for me to say. Good luck to all you who still have kids at home!