Getting back to the practice of fundamental education

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Well the Labor Day weekend has come and gone, and the unofficial days of summer are gone and school is in full swing. It takes twice as long to get to work, and forget about stopping by a 7-11 or Starbucks in my neighborhood in the morning. Although it is getting much busier around here, I have missed the frequent opportunities to meet the remarkable kids in our region.

Well the Labor Day weekend has come and gone, and the unofficial days of summer are gone and school is in full swing. It takes twice as long to get to work, and forget about stopping by a 7-11 or Starbucks in my neighborhood in the morning. Although it is getting much busier around here, I have missed the frequent opportunities to meet the remarkable kids in our region.

Another telltale sign of school starting is all of the press releases I am getting that range from how parents need to learn about California school’s Common Core Standards to the latest apps you can download to make teachers, students and parents hectic life just a little bit easier. This is all hogwash in my opinion because in getting ready to get in the rhythm of going back to school, it really boils down to getting back to the basics.

One of the things that has really bothered me over the past few years in covering education is that federal requirements do not demand teaching students the art of cursive writing. Fortunately, along with California, many states are fighting back and passing laws bringing it back to the Common Core principles of education. I fully understand that our kids are learning keyboards faster than handwriting and there is really no way around that unless you ban electronics from your household. But that is unrealistic, because in today’s world, that is a necessary skill. But it should not replace the basics of education. And the ability to write and good penmanship is part of founding a great educational future.

It is no wonder that America is lagging in the education of its children, and if you break it down by states, it tells a sad story. And we get angry and are surprised when large companies hire students from outside the U.S., rather than picking up the talent that is here in our own back yards. It is because other countries have not forgotten the basics of education along with teaching the new fundamentals needed to succeed in today’s society.

Handwriting is just an example of the much larger problem we are facing today in our society. It can be salvaged, but it takes the determination of parents to ensure that their children are getting their basic needs in all areas of academics from pre-school and up.

If the apps help you, use them. If you want the state to determine what and how your child learns, then adhere to the Common Core standards. But what is really needed is the parent/teacher/child relationship that works unanimously to give each child a proper education.

And that takes discipline and a whole lot of patience.

It is a great thing to teach your children about the technology that is before us now and the amazing things that are yet to come. But if they cannot sit down and read and write a simple paragraph with comprehension and precision, where does that leave their future?

It leaves them in the dark with no power to reach for future goals.

Life is always too busy to keep up with and there are only few precious moments that we can all actually say we had time to relax, rest and play. But our children need our attention every single day, especially while they are in school learning. If you are sending your children to school expecting the school systems to teach them the basics in education, then you are going to be in a sad state when you wake up and realize that it cannot happen without your involvement. And there is a point of no return. Teaching your children the basic disciplines of studying, practicing and comprehending what our overworked teachers are trying to instill in them falls on the shoulders of the people that raise them. So start early. Establish timelines for school, homework, and extracurricular activities and for gosh sake; do not forget to give them time to play. That is something us adults forget all to quickly.

It sounds like the impossible dream, and many days it really may be unmanageable to fit all that needs to be done in one day into 24 hours.

But we have to try. It is our children’s future at stake.

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