I look around at kids these days, and by kids I mean anyone under 30, and wonder what it is exactly we are teaching them at home and at school?

I know I’m not alone in this inquiry…parents, teachers and adults everywhere are questioning what American children are learning and how to change this as it’s very clear from many points that our education system is failing the majority of American children and must be fixed!

The bigger our world gets, the smaller the realm of knowledge our children seem to have leaving school and home. Teachers are becoming more and more constrained and parents are struggling to influence what is happening in their children’s schools.

Governments are actively trying to solve education problems they have no business or ability solving and must be told to get out of the way.

Teacher’s unions make it all but impossible to get rid of the ‘bad’ teachers and good teachers hands are practically tied when it comes to teaching students in ways they learn best.

Students are taught with methodologies that don’t work…made to sit in desks, listen, take notes and then regurgitate irrelevant information later on a test…that information only to be forgotten right after the test because the student isn’t learning it for any reason…and they know this! (Ask any smart child and they have already figured out that school is just something they need to get through to get on with life.)

Our children aren’t learning how to take care of themselves…emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually or financially.

They aren’t learning how to think through problems and solve them. And they aren’t learning how to think globally for the most part. Everything is geared toward solving problems individually when in reality, we solve problems best when we work on them together.

The Ultimate School

The Ultimate School

Our children aren’t learning how to have honest, satisfying relationships with others…romantically, socially, professionally. They are having sex at younger and younger ages, not understanding the ramifications of their actions physically and emotionally.

For the most part, they don’t seem to be learning how to be adults, period!

So I got thinking this morning about what I would want kids to learn in MY school if I started one. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. Feel free to add additional items by leaving your comments!

I’d want them to learn:

  • that life is simply what we make it.
  • that the meaning we ascribe to everything creates our experience of life.
  • that it’s our responsibility to wake up each morning and choose to be happy.
  • that nothing in life is free or guaranteed; you have to work for what you want one way or another.
  • that we aren’t born with rights and we don’t deserve anything…unless we earn it.
  • that money is simply a tool to reach your dreams and that it’s our responsibility to learn how to use this tool wisely.
  • that money doesn’t mean anything about who we are as a person
  • that by taking care of the earth and each other, we take care of ourselves.
  • that getting a job is only one way to bring money into our lives…starting businesses is a great choice as well.
  • that we get one body and it’s an honor to take care of it…and we must take care of it.
  • that tolerance isn’t enough because if you tolerate something, you still have judgments about it. Instead, we’d teach unconditional acceptance.
  • that all races of people are perfect, just the way they are.
  • that they can do without their cell phones and computers for long periods of time and actually focus on something else.
  • that personal discipline is a good thing.
  • how to grow, prepare and cook their own food by working in the school gardens and kitchen.
  • how to clean a house.
  • how to do plumbing and electrical repairs.
  • how to take care of a car.
  • that keeping their school rooms and grounds clean and picked up are their responsibility (no janitors are required in my school except one to supervise:-).
  • that taking advantage of another for any reason is unacceptable.
  • how things work.
  • life skils…if we need it for life, we’ll expose our students to it.
  • how to think through problems.
  • to respond to situations instead of react by thinking first.
  • that their parent’s job is to help them learn how to grow into responsible adults…that means every parent takes an active roll in their children’s school experience.
  • how to develop and maintain loving, healthy, supportive relationships with other human beings.
  • that honesty and integrity are critical for any success in life.
  • that there is no perfect.
  • that the only failure is the failure to participate.
  • that life doesn’t come with a rule book and that you are free to make up your own.
  • to question everything and not simply accept things the way they are because that’s the way they are.
  • ethics…not the difference between right and wrong but how to make decisions between two rights (i.e., friendship and responsibility).
  • that the best way to gain respect from others is to be respectful of others.
  • that TV is not a particularly healthy past-time.
  • that moving one’s body each day is a key to our overall health.
  • that laughter really is the best medicine, and certainly not lastly (I had to stop somewhere so I could publish the blog:-)
  • they will learn the new definition for intelligence (see below)

And all of this would be taught using accelerated teaching methodologies…and students would be able to learn they way they learn best!

Intelligence Redefined

If you think about it, pure intelligence serves no purpose unless it is serves a purpose.

I define intelligence as the actions and choices a person makes that are more toward what’s best for the whole, rather than what’s only best for the individual.

The closer a person’s decision or choice is to being what’s best for the whole, the more intelligent that person is.

The Ultimate School Goal

To help parents raise children who don’t have to ever hire a psychologist or psychiatrist to recover from their childhoods!

OK, now it’s YOUR turn. What else should we teach our children in the new Ultimate School?