I’m impulsive when it comes to the little things in my life. I feel that it enables me to better adapt to the situation. This is why I will decide around 5 o’clock what I will cook for dinner. The same goes with the activities for my son’s advent calendar.
A recent study involving nearly 11,000 students and almost 500 teachers in a rural community — Bentonville, Arkansas, to be precise — shows that kids acquire important skills when they are exposed to arts. This research suggests that students actually retain a great deal of factual information from their tours. And this is contrary to current museum education beliefs and practices.
There are many posts and articles already written about “oversharing”, giving a digital identity to babies, creating a digital trust for your newborn and the right to privacy of kids. Before I wrote my posts, I asked why should I write another one. As I continued to research the topic, I failed to find my viewpoint in all those posts. I decided to share my side of the story.
I want to start the discussion with the fact that many things will have impact on a kid’s development and will shape who that kid will become as an adult. Our parent actions have always been one of them. I approach social media as one more component to the equation.
In six words: to prepare him for the world. It has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a visual person or the fact that design is in my bones. I found my design and architectural style at 6 years old. I recalled our Sunday car rides where my parents drove to see upscale houses across the province. My parents looked at traditional houses while I admired the rare modern architecture houses that we encountered. They knew about my preference and encouraged it. Each time that we passed by a modern house they made sure that I saw it.
Kids as young as two years old are able to appreciate art. Last night, I got another proof that toddlers can be moved by art the same way that we do.
My husband hung a small painting from an established local artist on a wall of my son’s bedroom while I read the bedtime stories to our son in the living room. As he stepped into his bedroom, the painting captured his attention. My son had a true awe moment. The first thing my toddler boy did after he noticed the painting was to sat in front of it to admire it further. I am so glad that I resisted the temptation when I was pregnant to buy him baby art. At the time, I had the feeling that he would outgrow his nursery quickly. He did!
As an entrepreneur, a citizen and a parent, I am concerned about our education system. I question how we educate kids, and more importantly, how we can give kids the best chances to succeed in life and at work. I am not alone with that concern. Homeschooling and the emergence of digital schools are an indication that some parents and students aren’t happy with the current school system.
Many thinkers, like Sir Ken Robinson, are looking at ways to change education from the ground up. Yes, the conversation goes further than whether kids should use a tablet in the classroom. It is the entire system that must be adapted to a new reality. Changing a few pieces at a time won’t work because there will be missing pieces. For example, you need to have applications and train teachers about the possibilities of the iPad. Turning the old books into a digital format won’t cut it. Teachers will need to reinvent how they teach their courses.
What we need to do is rethink the curriculum, the teaching methods, the tools that teachers and students will use, the workshops, and how this impacts the design of the classrooms and the school. We should also rethink the school calendar and the activities. More importantly, we must rethink the purpose of education in 2013 and beyond.
Deciding whether or not to send your baby to day care is not an easy question for parents. When faced with the costs of high quality day care, many parents argue that the take home pay of the second income, usually the mom, is enough to justify the expenses. In my view, they failed to include the benefits for the kids of attending day care in their equation. Here is my thinking.
My role as a parent is to prepare my children to become happy, independent, caring, open-minded and productive members of the society. I believe that being in day care better prepares my son for the real world.