Tag Archives: teachers

A School is..

Smart children are those who do well in school. Who can pass tests, and got good grades.

Oh yeah?

Well, I’m not against test.

It’s just that we need to have the right kind of test, to measure a child’s capability, skills, and to find out which are his/her strengths/weakness.

We can’t use standardized test to every child in order to determine whether they are smart or stupid, whether they deserve to move to the next class/grade or to repeat at the same grade, to pass or not to pass. Every child is different, unique and have their own skills and interests, and school tests are supposed to be adjustable to this.

Children who do well in sport or art subjects, have the same opportunity with children who do well in mathematics or linguistics. Both are equally smart, but they are different in the areas of strength.

Apparently, school and the whole system have failed to see this, but we, as parents, must put it in our mind and help our children to regain their self-esteem.

Every children have their own strength and weakness, they are unique, special, and deserve the same opportunity. And yet, there are educational institutions (even the most expensive ones, or especially those expensive ones!) who is using a standardized test to determine whether a child belong or doesn’t belong to their school.

Yesterday, I did some research to three kindergartens in my neighborhood. My son will turn 3 this May, and maybe I will send him to a pre-K institution. I have to admit, I got disappointing result because all three institutions are focusing on introduction to numbers, alphabets, enforcing reading ability, and mathematical ability as their main target, and forgot other areas which need to be emphasized as much as numbers/alphabets.

This is pretty common for early education institutions to be focusing on math and reading as the main subject, dominating 70-80 percent of their curriculum. The remaining 20 percent of the curriculum, goes to other areas such as musical ability, socialization, art/craft, sport activities, and technology/computers. This is so wrong for me, because I want my son to learn (more appropriately, to play) in an institution which have equal/balanced curriculum between academic and non-academic.

It will be a heaven for parents whose children are talented with numbers, alphabets, math and linguistics. But for kids who haven’t got any interest on numbers of alphabets, they will obviously be considered as “less smart” just because they love to draw pictures, able to swim, ride a bicycle, play lego, or sing a song perfectly on pitch.

Not only they will have lower self esteem due to their slow ability in learning numbers/alphabets, the pressure from friends, teachers, and even parents will ruin the child’s entire schooling experience.

So it’s not enough for us to constantly demand the correct education system, to send our children to expensive schools or courses, we must open our eyes as wide as possible and spent enormous quality times with our children to understand what their interest are, what their skills are and what areas are their strength/weakness.

In the end, school as a place to learn will have “some” responsibility to teach certain things to our child, but the belief that “I have sent my child to a reputable school with great program, great curriculum and great teachers. I am sure the result will be satisfying, and I can relax a little bit..” is WRONG. School is one source of knowledge, but it’s not the only one.

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The False Education

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You’re not educated, unless you go to school.

Oh, yeah?

Lately everyone keeps telling me to enroll my 2,5 year-old son to a preschool. I manage to not give a damn about them, but secretly searched for information from preschools / kindergarten in my neighborhood. I haven’t decide anything, but the more info I get, the less I want my son to go to school.

Especially with the rise of early education centers in my hometown, of which some of them can cost millions of Rupiah, I begin to think that this phenomenon is just a big waste of money. It’s taking advantage of parents who are focusing on pride, esteem, and have nowhere else to spend their money on. But that’s just my opinion that you can always ignore, or think about, your choice, who cares!?

I agree that everyone deserves an education. To pursue knowledge, and to learn about this world and all its wonders. But is school the only source for it?

Actually, the term “education” have a far more, broader meaning, compared to the term “school” which is just one form of structured education. I understand too, that lately there have been another way of transferring knowledge to educate our children, such as homeschooling, unschooling, and flexi-schooling. But each have their own disadvantages such as socialization problems, diploma problem, and so on.

So.. I still don’t know and haven’t decide anything, yet.

I am still planning to search for more information regarding other alternatives such as music course, art lesson, etc. But I have my reasons now, for whatever it is my decision will be, my son will have to love it, having fun doing it, and can light his own fire, instead of having his bucket poured with water (on which he doesn’t have a clue on how to use the water for.)

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Poor Stressful Kids

When I was young, I just went with the flow when it comes to going to school. But by the time I arrived home, I occupied myself doing fun and simple things. Drawing pictures for Pak Tino Sidin, learned to whistle and how to play guitar with Guns N Roses. School was never a source of stress for me, at least not until I was stuck in college. We didn’t have a telephone, cell-phones were not invented yet (I guess), and my TV only have 10 channels, with just one to watch: TVRI. But I was far from what they call “A stressful kid.” Although (until now, sadly), I’m still pretty stressed with getting up too early in the morning.

Today, kids can watch different cartoons on more than 5 children-dedicated channels from a satellite TV. With various communication gadgets, they can entertain themselves by launching a bird to shoot a bunch of caged birds, pigs, and monkeys, and laugh like a devil..

No, wait. That sounds a lot like my son.

Anyway, I was planning to write about kids today and who are their role model. But apparently, kids today are too busy to think about having one. They might be spoiled, that is, if you compare them to me, 20-30 years ago, but somehow, they are also more stressful than I was. The below tweet by Bincang Edukasi proves it.

a good question

Well, seems like we need to stop pointing our fingers to anyone, because it only makes us feel better, but it does NOT solve anything. In reality, kids today are the victim of a f*cked-up education system. So in this case, anyone who follows a questionable system is unquestionably stupid. Including schools, teachers, and even parents. You know it leads you nowhere, but you’re forcing your children to go with it.

On the other hand, I personally always believe intense communication between parents and children is always the ultimate key to success. Anyone might think that school grades are most important, but for me, as long as children don’t stay in the same class for years, we all should focus on finding our children’s talents and support it as much as possible. And one way to find these hidden talents is to maintain a healthy communication habit within the family. Children needs to know that parents are available anytime and are always supportive with solutions, AS LONG AS they are willing to speak up, share their problems.

Hopefully, when kids are doing something they love, chances for being stressful can be put to the minimum. And we need to shift our thinking from the old habit of memorizing a lesson, to actually make something. Create, create, create. Even if it’s only a picture of 5 eggs, in a plate, above a table.

No, wait. That sounds like my son, again!

So I guess we all can see that time has surely changes. But the unique relationship between parents and children remains. Educators, school system, gadgets, TV shows, video games, or even the internet, are inevitably present today. But the decision on whether we’re going to make them destroy our kids’ future, or to support it, will entirely (and always) depends on us.

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