Thursday, February 21st, 2008
Two Million Minutes: My Kid is in Diapers and You’re Talking High School?
Two Million Minutes is a documentary that tracks two American, two Chinese and two Indian high school students, examining how three superpowers are preparing their students for the future.
Is this an issue of interest to parents of young children? I think so.
When my wife and I shopped for preschools for my daughter, we debated three schools. One emphasized reading and math, one emphasized fine motor skills (such as quilting), and one had lots of activities, but was essentially glorified daycare. And there’s always Waldorf schools that buck all trends with such ideas as not teaching reading and writing until age 7.
Then there’s the issue of Spanish use in preschool because it could influence whether we eventually choose the kindergarten program that does Spanish immersion. Or maybe we’ll choose the other elementary school that has the best test scores in our region, but is also criticized for pushing its kids too hard.
Five minutes later my wife and I found ourselves discussing high schools (the “average” high school vs. the one with an International Baccalaureate program). Holy cow!
Sure, high school is a long way off, but it doesn’t just magically appear one day. Education is a journey with each step influencing your child’s direction on his path to adulthood. Your kid can still go on to great success despite, say, bad grades in high school… but boy, the more he knows upon leaving high school, the more options he has to pursue in life.
I suspect Thinga-readers fall into two camps — “our schools are lackluster and we plan to supplement our kids’ education as much as possible (with homeschooling or private school)” and “our schools are fine and if you rush your kids you’ll do more harm than good.” Yes? No?
Parents pour a lot of money into “educational” toys for their babies and track milestones month-by-month, but does that deep level of interest persist? Will you at some point switch off and trust your preschool, your kindergarten and so forth to handle all aspects of education? Or will you stay actively involved in your child’s education in some manner?