Perhaps you have read or heard this sage parenting advice- “View every interruption as an opportunity to teach.” Parents are first in the educational process of their children. Yes, kids have teachers and counselors, and scout leaders, and grandparents, and many other adults in their lives, but education begins at home. In essence, every parent is a homeschooler.
“Technology doesn’t make you smarter or more educated, it just makes you more productive (there is a difference.),” said Mike Buda, editor emeritus of Country Line.
This little sentence, tucked in the middle of an article about a high school reunion, caught my attention. Technology has many benefits to students, but the idea of productivity versus real education piqued my interest. Am I educating my children or just making them “productive”?
While I want my children to be productive members of society who use the latest technology, I also want them to be life-long learners. I want them to solve problems and find out better ways to do things by continually asking why. Is the purpose of education to make kids more productive or to actually educate them? Here are five key differences between the child who is “productive” and the child who is “educated”:
- 1. The educated child can problem-solve, instead of accepting or asking continually for help.
- 2. The educated child can create their own entertainment, rather than seeking to be entertained.
- 3. The educated child leads and includes other people, not just children.
- 4. The educated child learns from what they read and uses the information.
- 5. The productive child will do the same thing over and over because they are told to. The educated child asks, “why?” They ask not to delay obedience, but out of a genuine desire to know the reasons behind their actions.
A productive child will grow to a productive adulthood. They will hold a job, work diligently and live a quiet life. An educated child will always seek to learn more; they will strive to make a difference, and they will keep striving even after being defined as “successful.” They will be leaders. With the educational choices for my children in my parental hands, I must make wise choices for them. I must find an education that matches up with my goals-I want educated children and not merely productive ones.
Raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis
Other articles by Tracey Westphal:
Parenting by the Whole Picture: Perspective on your child as an adult
Take care of your shoes–how to foster responsibility in your children
The Six D’s of Doing Relationship