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Clown Learning

Is your child’s school working for them? Do you get the sense that they are safe, happy and loving learning, progressing at a healthy pace of their own, developing their sense of self in a positive way? If you’re answer is yes then you should go back to whatever it was you were doing before you clicked over to this link. This article is going to be about the Clowns and Jokers that run your kids school and you probably don’t need that kind of stress where you might have to reevaluate what you’re doing. These aren’t the articles you’re looking for, move along.

This Steelers Wheel song came out in 1972 Stuck in the Middle With You but it wasn’t until I got older that it seemed to apply to so much of what’s going on in the world around us. There’s a line, “Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.” The year it made sense was 1982 when I started what I thought would be a journey to teach kids in school even though I hated school growing up, I was going to be different. I was right about the different part.

 

Do you have an experience that you can think of and say, “Exactly! This is how it feels right now.”? Clowns & Jokers are running the asylum, and Donald Trump wants in on that too?

When I think of Clowns & Jokers in the area of “education” and learning there’s this excellent example of stupidity in what people consider learning that takes place at the gas pump. While driving through the tip of Oregon we stopped in Pendleton and had to fuel up. The pump at the station looked exactly like the ones in every other state including the pay at the pump card slider BUT I couldn’t slide my card, or pump my gas! A nice young person came out to do it for me. When I mentioned that that seemed pretty stupid he informed me that they had been specially trained to protect the environment. I’ve been pumping gas from all the various pumps that have come along since 1983, before this kid was born but he’s had special training? Really? Since 1885 people have been pumping gas for lanterns and cars but in 2014 with all the advances in technology we need special training to pump gas correctly?

My neighbor has an old time gas pump something like this:

This gas pump is complicated right up until someone explains that you have to actually crank and pump the gas up into that glass tank before it goes into your car. Simple? We’re on driver #5 in our family and we’ve shown each of them exactly once how to pump gas and they haven’t lite themselves up yet!  So, how do you convince an entire state of people that they can’t pump their own gas because they won’t protect the environment? Gas is expensive and I’m guessing not very many people pour it all over the place between the pump and their car not to mention if you’ve ever spilled gas even once you’re careful for the rest of your life because you smell and worry about a spark blowing you up. Sadly I speak from experience.

How do you convince people that things are good for them that aren’t? What it really comes down to is convincing people that they are inept and incapable of doing things so you can “help” them. While I don’t know why people choose to allow themselves to be treated like children I do know that we aren’t children and that the average 11 year old could pump gas if it wasn’t against the law (did you know that?) and the average 11 year old is far more capable than our current society gives them room to be.

It takes time to convince people that they can’t do something on their own and it takes lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of repetition where the empire reminds the children that they’re stupid but all will be taken care of for them.

Here’s a game for you to play. Make a list of all the things you do everyday and next to each one write where or how you learned how to do that activity.

Driving – Michael taught me 🙂

Cleaning/housework – my mom

Cooking – my mother-in-law (my mom makes great salad)

Baking – my mom – I did have a class in jr high but everything they taught I already knew from my mom

Computers – Michael 1983 compact lug-able, currently Greg my 21 year old

Grocery shopping – mom

Gardening – mom

Budgeting – mom

Piano – a few private lessons along the way

Assorted crafts – mom

Lesson planning – on the job

I know you’re going to say but you’re a stay home mom so it makes sense that the things you do every day your mom taught you. Well, I’ve had some jobs along the way and on the job training for all of those. But we’ll make Michael’s list

Van Pool – his mom taught him how to be polite

Computers – 1 computer course in college accounting school and the rest on his own, with friends, learning in community

Communication – through relationships with people

Speaking – a couple years of teaching at a Career Transition Workshop and being Scout Master

Business Objects – online training

Essbase – week class then on the job

Guns – the current fascination 🙂 which requires field trips, online resources, lessons from friends

Selecting, processing and cooking meat – dad

House Building – dad-in-law

Grilling – neighbor Mr. Cargill – best neighbor ever

Car repair – Mr. Cargill

Just since we were in college the world of technology has advanced and continues to advance at ever increasing giant leaps and the “educational” world can’t keep up but the good news is you as an individual can. Unless you want to be a very specific character on the stage, doctor, lawyer, indian chief, you can learn just about anything you want to know on your own, online or from someone who is actually loving what they’re doing. There’s something really exceptional about a lesson from someone with an accidental passion for a subject.

Are you in Clown Training Mode? Are you learning something right now? How are you learning about it? Do you have a choice as to what you’re learning, how you’re gaining that understanding and what the outcome is? If not, that’s very sad, you should find something new to learn. What about your kiddos?  If you want you’re child to be a life long learner, an independent self starting thinker you’re going to have to start by setting an example of being a learner, rescue them from the indoctrination camp and bring them into your camp of how real learning takes place. What do you really wish your child knows? What one thing do you know that they love more than anything?

If you’re kids in the government indoctrination camp try making a list of the things that worry you and take it to their teacher or principal and see how much they listen to you. I understand that everyone can’t train up their own child in the way they want them to go but maybe if you start thinking about what you really, really want for your child you might figure out how to free yourselves into a world of true learning in a state where the people are smart enough to pump their own gas.

If you’re homeschooling and you’ve just stuck school inside your house and are staying on “track” with an expensive co-op that is stressing you out. Stay tuned . . . . .