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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Winding Roads: Back at school

Thursday, August 31, 2006

As much as many kids protest the end of summer and the beginning of another school year, there are many others who are ready to return. Basically for many it is being able to see and visit with their classmates that appeals to them.

With two active grandsons who participate in about every sport there is, the summer is full with swimming lessons, ball games, camps and vacation Bible school. The busier they are, the more satisfied they seem to be.

Thus I thought they might dislike seeing the summer end. Both reported they will be happy being back at school and getting into the routine. One thought his teacher would be nice and a lot of fun. The other was entering a new stage of junior high and hoped to find all of his class rooms OK. They anticipated having a great time and of course, the youngest thought the food at school was delicious as well.

Many schools have air conditioned classrooms and thus heat isn't the factor that it once was for some districts. Although many had early out the first day of school. Kids adjust to whatever comes their way for the most part.

When I step into a classroom to take a photo, it is interesting to see the variety of ways teachers today come up with to get children's attention and make learning fun. Although I certainly was an advocate of drills for learning basic facts, teachers now have many more educational tools at their fingertips to utilize. Having said that, it is the creative methods they come up with to enhance the combination of disciplines that's fun to watch.

Years ago teachers enhance the learning of spelling and writing skills into students writing stories encouraging their creativity. Now, teachers combine three or four skills into one learning activity which keeps student interested in what's happening.

I also get a kick out of the utilization of common items found around the house whether they are putting something together for a science or social studies class.

Although I believe some children still spend too much time in front of a screen, computers do have a place in the school environment. I think a second or third grader can outdo my skills in that area. These video games, which I had thought were the ruination of kids, enhance their dexterity and quickness to react.

When old folks (I didn't have to as I lived in town) speak of carrying their cold lunch to school, sitting around a stove to warm up or using an outhouse, I'm thinking thank goodness we are past that. Some like to chuckle with their stories but I don't think it made them better students. It taught them appreciation for modern conveniences when they came along.

Kids today aren't just whimps. Their attention is pulled in more ways than we could have imagined 30-50 years ago. Many don't have enough time spent under the direct eye of one parent as many of them are just trying to hold their heads above financial obligations.

Kids either learn to be more responsible today or else they get into trouble. Perhaps it does take a village to raise our younger generations. I can't believe I just wrote that.