Shed the backpacks, December 16, 2011 Daily Reflection

Backpacks outside the garden

As children so much of our lives were engrossed in education. Children now start as early as age 3 at preschool. If your children go to daycare formal learning may start as early as 18 months.  The formal education process continues for most through a Bachelor’s degree finishing around age 23-24. Those who want a Masters or beyond will be in school until age 28. That investment of time is around 20 – 25 years of their lives; that’s a big investment.  It’s a good thing most children don’t look at it like that.

My oldest is in the 7th grade and he has never loved school, he tolerates it and tries to have fun there with his friends. He has a goal in mind already to become a mechanical engineer; he wants to design car engines that don’t pollute for Ford. He has already designed a few different types of engines that would work. He takes it all one year at a time. As a mom I hold education as their highest priority making sure they get the right amount of rest, food, and leisure time away from school. It is my belief that children should have a balance just as adults should find balance. Sometimes they need to shed those backpacks and run through that garden just beyond the gate. As parents we know, we have read the studies and seen the proof, that education is the key to a successful career and in turn life. So we encourage our children and aid them in all ways possible to have the best education we can provide. As parents we need to reflect on if we are giving them balance.

When your child comes home from school do they spend all their time on homework and studying, dinner and then bedtime? Does your child go to sports or extracurricular clubs then do homework, dinner and bed? Does your child have any down time away from home work and structured activities? We live in a To Do List society and we want to check it all off the list. In doing so sometimes we neglect the leisure time; we need to put leisure time on the list; sleeping is not leisure time it’s a necessity. Many times we think sports or an enjoyable after school event fills that requirement but it doesn’t really because it is structured. Our children need time to be alone in their rooms, play in their backyards, doodle on a sketch pad, play with their toys, sit and talk with their friends on the phone, watch a TV show together with the family and just simply relax.

Today, let your child take off that back pack and run through the garden and be a child. They will only be young for 18 years and then it is over. They have 23 years of school make sure they get to be children during that time. We as parents need to put that on the list today.

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