You might be sending your child off to school every day but what are they learning? If millions of people cannot learn to read and write properly after trying for 12,870 days, maybe it’s time to try a new direction.
Although we moan about the school system, it seems like it is here to stay. Even after the pandemic has finished and the schools doors open again, most parents, I am sad to say, will be shipping their children off to strangers with a lighter heart and sigh of relief.
I do not blame these parents for their sense of relief. Parents have a lot of pressure and stress in their lives due to the high price of living and the way society has pushed us all to wanting and feeling we “need” material things. But where does all this leave the raising of our children? If parents are too stressed, tired or feel helpless because they have to compete with social media and fun gadgets, what is the solution? (Guide to help parents here).
And more importantly, what does this have to do with our amazing little furry friend Kiki?
Confidence is a strong foundation on which a child can grow. With self-belief they are self-reliant, happy with themselves, not yearning for what others have; instead, they love doing what they do or learning more things.
Focus on our strengths
Kiki and friends believe in nurturing everybody’s unique powers, such as Piero’s affability, Banjo’s kindness and Dali’s bossiness. All these may not be “obvious” or commonplace strengths. But they each serve a purpose in different situations as becomes clear in The Circus is Coming to Town. They each have their own power and like pieces of a jigsaw when they work together as a team can have an amazing overall impact. Imagine each person in the world as a piece of a jigsaw, no one two the same. Put them all together and you have a beautiful effect. It all works together.
That is why much like the The Animal School Fable by George Reavis, we don’t believe in sending Kiki or Banjo to school to become the best swimmer. Just like you wouldn’t ask your goldfish to jump off the highest branch and expect it to fly. We should focus on their strengths.
We keep sending our children into the funnel of school and as they go along the tube they are stripped of their personal abilities and come out as standardised citizens at the end with the mediocre achievement of learning a bit of English and a bit of Maths. You get the picture. But what happened to that amazing talent they had as a 6-year old to inspire all their siblings to create great theatre or pretend to be a pack of wolves. Or their ability to draw and express themselves without fear? We tell them that learning to read and write and fit in with society’s timetable is more important. Are we sure that is true? Is it just convenient childcare? Are we just too lazy to give this proper thought or too busy to invest in our child’s well-rounded upbringing?
Although the pandemic may have inspired our schooling system a little more towards homeschooling or helped parents understand how teachers do more than just teach (i.e. role models, discipline, etc.), it isn’t going to revolutionise the system that is failing so many children – especially young teenage boys.
If the education system is supposed to be helping children to socialise, act as a childcare system so parents can go to work and because that large network of families has fallen apart, then fine. It has achieved that. But let’s not let it claim to be something it isn’t. If it truly is meant to teach our children then it needs some serious revamping.
Focus on what we CAN do
A child spends on average 11 years at school and after that time 1 in 6 (16.4%) adults in England still struggle to read and write, that’s 7.1 million people, not just a few hundred – in the USA 21% fall into the illiterate category. Not only has the system failed, but now the children are going to see themselves as failures. If they were able to explore their artistic propensities or flair for debating or amazing sprinting abilities, they would be more confident, happier and successful in general. This would help reduce crime and mental illness as a start. It’s the way for us to evolve as a species, not stagnate by making our future generations go through a system that fails. We’re all happy quoting the saying of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity, yet we all buy into the school system…. I understand convenience is a big factor, so let me make it super convenient for you to make a big, positive difference in your child’s life. Click here or…
A fun journal Kiki’s I CAN Journal for Kids – boosting confidence and nurturing a positive mindset. Different and engaging activities every day for 3 months. 90 days to change a negative or lazy a mindset, cultivate self awareness and start good habits.
A Positive Start online videos. I would propose we teach these life skills at school:
These are typically associated with skills taught at martial arts schools (that’s why Kiki believes in their validity). You can get more of an idea here with my online videos.
“Personal development and sense of greater self-awareness can never come too early in life.”
This course will help you teach young children essential life skills, become more self-confident, more aware of others and challenge them to grow. This kind of teaching also doesn’t suddenly STOP when they leave school. How many times have you heard: “I didn’t do well at school so I could not get the job I wanted.” Whatever you wanted to do at school is still accessible for you to learn after you’re 16 or 18. There are countless ways to retrain or immerse yourself in the subject or discipline or sport you enjoy. When you do something you enjoy, you do it best.
It will walk you through 10 fundamental life skills essential for empowering children to become more positive and happier. After providing a brief explanation of each skill, you will then be guided through 2-3 practical exercises to introduce to your child to help them understand and adopt the respective life skill.
This is then supplemented with further resources to help reinforce their learning by way of illustrated story-books to illustrate these skills through FUN and a Personal Advancement Manual to put their skills into ACTION.
“FUN and ACTION: two of the most powerful ways to learn.”
Armed with such skills, children will tackle difficult assignments, become more caring and it would benefit society as a whole.
The way technology is going, we no longer need entire generations to learn the “academic” skills. More about learning to live together as the world gets smaller and more reactionary. I used to worry about the perpetual knowledge deficit being passed on from one generation to the next. But actually, what difference does it make whether my child knows where to put an apostrophe, just as long as I do, ‘cos I’m a writer! They could know how to write a programme to help others lead a balanced life. I couldn’t.
Focus on what makes us different
Let everybody seek, explore and excel what they are good at. Don’t try to make everyone the same. There is enough knowledge and information out there for free now that if we really want to learn something, at whatever age, we can. Remember, necessity is the mother of all creation. If your child really wants to read – e.g. cheats on a game, comics, instruction manual for their toys – then they will. We shouldn’t keep shoving them down the tube to churn out more standardised grey. Let’s equip them with life skills. The rest will come naturally. Nothing forced was ever worthwhile.
If we cannot learn to read and write properly after trying for 12,870 days, maybe it’s time to try a new direction. Let’s help them respect themselves, become more understanding, persevere and not give up.
Let’s go for happy. Let’s go for confident. Let’s go for life.
Check out these 10 life skills, and see if even you could brush up on some!