Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Five Things They Won't Likely Teach Your Kids In School This Year

School starts soon. For some it begins next week while for others the opening bell is another month or more away. Parents are excited to soon get some normalcy and routine back into the schedule while most kids can't believe how quickly the summer flew by and that school is almost back in session.

And thankfully, many of our schools will do stellar jobs teaching science, math, history, etc. orchestrated by committed, passionate teachers who give their best for too little remuneration in most cases. But it's worth remembering that there are some concepts and life lessons that we often think our kids are learning that probably won't get much attention in the hallways or classrooms.

Let me suggest five of the most important lessons our children would benefit greatly by learning some about in school but probably will not. We could certainly argue whether they should be addressed or not in our educational settings. Nonetheless, it's important that we then think about how we are going to teach and model these vital lessons for life.

1. Our kids won't be taught how to deal with relational conflict. Sure, when two kids fight, the teachers break it up. When a few of them loudly disagree with each other they may be told to hold it down. When there is a conflict between student and adult, most leaders will be happy to get the student to agree with them or just do it because I said so.

But there will be little training or modeling of how to appropriately, wisely and maturely work through differing points of view accompanied by intense emotions. And while we could argue that schools need to focus more on learning the basics and their accompanying subjects, there is still a place for showing students how to handle points of view that differ or resolving everyday disputes they will face with others.

2. Our kids won't be taught how to think logically. In public institutions they'll be told more what to think or to only think about a limited slate of ideas, often ones that generally don't include conservative, religious views. But we, even as parents of faith, need our kids to learn to think through options, evaluate truth from a variety of perspectives and be able to articulate why we believe what we believe.

Even in classes math and science, there is value in learning how to compare ideas, use the scientific method and examine all points of view for their validity. But most public schools will stay away from arguments for perspectives they deem non-popular or not to be tolerated while sometimes in Christian schools the students are simply told to accept Christian perspectives with little consideration of any evidence or analytical thinking.

3. Our kids probably won't be taught the whole truth about history. History is often re-written in our schools today where past heroes can be portrayed as horribly flawed, where America is more the evil empire than the greatest provider of aid in the world. The role of Scripture, the church and religious leaders has been nearly erased in many textbooks these days.

It has become more popular to criticize America and its leaders today rather than to have a balanced and fair perspective on our country both past and present. While we don't have a perfect country or past, there is far more good in it than will likely be highlighted in our social science classes.

4. Our kids won't be taught that moral guidelines of the past have relevance in our culture today. Perhaps the most obvious one is that sex was intended by God to be enjoyed and to flourish in marriage between a man and a woman. I was watching a game show the other night and the prize was an overnight date with the person the woman chose as her favorite. And to make it worse, they told us that the date ended up with the woman actually hooking up with the limo driver the night of the date!

And yet, living together, having casual sex and one-night stands will be generally accepted, assumed or ignored in most of our school settings.

5.  Our kids won't be taught the value of life. Yes, certain poor treatment, abuses and even killings may be criticized, critiqued and bemoaned as they should be, others, such as the killing of life in the womb abortion or taking the life of someone in law enforcement if they feel the cause is justified will be ignored.

And of course, if we stop here the news for many of us and our kids isn't good. Yes, some of us will find more peace in our private school setting where some of these issues awill actually be addressed.

But it's critical that we as parents don't just sit back and hope for the best or let others do the important work for us of teaching our children the key things we want them to learn. Instead we must start, be proactive and find creative ways to teach them. We don't have to train them all by ourselves however. Some of what we can do is take our children to places, seminars, teachings and other experiences that can assist us with these important lessons. We can get them next to people who will model truth.

Start or continue the task now. Don't wait. Don't assume. Your school is less likely to help you than hinder you. So make the most of this school year -  and teach the other things, the missing things, at home.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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