Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer's Here!

It’s official. Summer is here. We wrapped up our school year and did the mandatory standardized test. Not that I like to think of life as school or non-school. I much prefer a “lifestyle of learning” mentality no matter what the season. We spent the last nine months immersed in American history and the human body, but there were many other things we learned along the way. And while many of them have no value on a standardized test – they are far more important and eternally significant.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled that my children rank above average according to someone else’s idea of what they should know (aka standardized test), but I’m even more excited that they love to learn and are learning to love, learning to be responsible, learning to take the initiative, learning to be kind…and learning to be more like Jesus. They’re becoming who God created them to be and being equipped to do what He has called them to do. And that is actually the definition of education – at least the definition by which we choose to live.

Yes, there are some basics that all human beings need to know…like how to read, write, and do some basic math. But what’s more important? Being a straight A student who behaves like a self-centered brat trampling over others while climbing the ladder of success? Or being a kind, compassionate, loving human being who will never make it in trigonometry, but can balance a checkbook and lives a life of faith, hope, and love?

Where’s the grade for character? Does the Department of Education concern itself with such things? Or is it too…abstract? Too hard to measure? Or simply not significant in the pursuit of financial prosperity? Not that I’m recommending we try to slap a grade on the character of our children. I think there is far too much labeling, grading, and sorting already. But isn't there more to education than what can be sliced, diced, measured, graded, and compiled?

Just my two cents. Would love to hear yours :-)