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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer School

How much is too much in terms of summer homework for school age kids?  For instance, is three books and corresponding reports in addition to the 25 computer math assignments (which include approx. 10 questions each) too much?  Or is it not enough?  As a proponent of longer school days, and years, it's hard to argue against the pursuit of higher knowledge.

But you can't have it both ways, can you?  If you are going to give a kid (here a 10 year old kid) a few months off, let them take off.  Now, if your kid is a gamer or tv crack head this does not apply to you.  Get your kid active and engaged or suffer the consequences.  Oh, and if your kid goes the other way and is an avid reader and/or real brainy like, tell them to keep doing what they are doing.

This question applies to the middle of the road kid.  An active kid with a strong personality who does well, but not great.  Can they take this time to make social connections?  Use this time to forget about the horror that was 4th grade?   Should these assignments hang over her head during camps, pool days, and family vacations?

Probably.  But the reality is they hang over the parents head more than the students.

Suppose that is the plight of today's parents.  The responsibilities are endless.  The thought of my parents asking me to do homework in August is downright absurd.

But that's the point right?  We are better off now with all this new and advanced schooling.  Our parents who worked two jobs and had no time to help with the homework we didn't have were so flawed right?

Not exactly.  We cannot adequately do the math yet (and not simply because we can't do math.)  But are we certain that children raised by Gen X'ers are going to be more successful than their parents?  All indications are they will not, right?  Where will the jobs come from?  Is it on Mars exploration?  Maybe if we all head up there we can start anew?

Wait, how are we all going to get there?  Our recent manned trips have not been stellar.  Let's be honest, NASA has been a colossal waste of money over the past few decades.  OK, it gives us some important technologies and teaches us about climate, the Earth and countless other things.  Frankly, the money could be better spent down here.  Perhaps we can scrap the program for a decade and cultivate our schools and universities best scientific minds with a real eye toward the future.

Then, we hold a giant job fair/science convention in an effort to remedy some key issues.  After we tackle global warming and alternative fuels the scientists left over can go start a privately run space firm.  Richard Branson should still be alive to finance the thing.

We can't exactly rely on the government to operate our National budget.  Why do we expect them to find out what's going on a galaxy away?

If the public transportation system that carries NJ commuters in and out of NYC is any indication...  we are all in for a long wait.

It's simple really.  If we want to get ahead our children need to be in school far longer, both in days and hours.  The time of half assed solutions is over.

Go 10 hours a day, 10 months a year.  Go hard on math and science with an emphasis on written and verbal communication.  We like to talk, and more honestly, hear ourselves talk (i.e.: all of this egocentric blog.)  Let's be the best at talking.  We are producing more customer service folks than any other country...  let's be the best at that too!  Serve with a confident smile and lose the smirk.

Oh, and when kids have 2 months off...  it's simply 2 months off.  There will be plenty of time to work during summers and be, generally annoyed with the process.  Let them breathe a bit before it all gets too real.

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