“But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein
It is Dyslexia Awareness Month!
October is also the time that I begin to read a lot of blogs, facebook posts, and messages about the struggles in school. Recently, I read a post that took me back to two years ago when we began our homeschooling journey! The mom was venting on the school system and the lack of assistance for kids with dyslexia. She wants others to come together to fight the system to get all kids the help they need to learn to read, spell and write. She is in the beginning of her journey with her daughter.
I did not stay to fight the fight. I knew that I needed to help my child and that was/is my number one job. I do think a lot about the public school system in America. I feel for all of the kids, not just the ones with learning disabilities. I know the teachers want the best for their students, as do the parents. I know that the “best way” has not been found “yet” or what exactly went wrong with the system. Yet, I worry about the way that education is going. Kids are not small adults. They do not need to sit at a desk and to be judged by what they have memorized or not. They need to be taught how to learn, problem solve and how to look for answers. It pains me to hear about a third grader who hates school and believes he is stupid because of his grades on a test. He is so much more than the grades and school. Why is that not taught in school too?
This week we visited a local historic farm and the school house that taught the kids in the community. I enjoyed looking at the schoolhouse and imagining how the learning took place. The school house could hold around 25 children with one teacher. The classroom was filled with children of all ages who came to school as they could based on when they were needed on the farm. The families sent their kids there to learn in order to better the community and the family, but in the end, the family came first. If the family needed extra workers, then the children helped. They were not penalized at school for missing days or material. The children not only learned to read, write and do arithmetic at school, but they also learned the importance of family, hard work, and community. They learned how to grow into adults and to fulfill their roles in their community.
So, as some try to bring awareness to dyslexia this month: I would like to bring awareness to all parents and educators, to embrace the whole child and not just the grades. Help all the children to realize that even with poor grades, you can be a fantastic person and an important part in the community. Help them find their inner genius.