Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Primrose--on my Soapbox

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it - Proverbs 22:6

There is a new school that has opened in our area called Primrose School of Riverwoods. It is a "high quality private preschool specializing in early childhood education." I am SO excited about it! Although they have an infant program (similar to daycare), I am most excited about their pre school and private Kindergarden! Primrose Schools are all over the US and they offer the absolute top in preschools. There is a lot of free play and room for self expression. It is sort of a blended approach which we (Kevin and I) think is great. The kiddos get the benefit of structure and the benefit of self led learning. I think that both approaches are beneficial if used correctly together.

As you all know, education is very important to Kevin and I. We were both raised by well educated, well informed parents and were both taught at an early age that education is very important. We were both fortunate to go to good schools and be afforded the opportunity for a good education. For both of us, education was never an issue – we were getting one whether we liked it or not! Our parents understood the long term benefits of a good, solid education. As my Dad said the day that I graduated college: “people can take a lot of things away from you, but that degree in your hand, no one can ever take that away.”

I can remember sitting in class in high school (and likely some in middle school too) and thinking that I hated sitting there, all this unnecessary curriculum was stupid, I was never going to use it anyway and I would rather be at home or outside or hanging with my friends! Although I still think that I learned a lot that I am not necessarily going to use, in hindsight, I am SO glad that I did learn it all and that I have a good, well rounded education! I HATED learning pre-calculus and Algebra, but when I got to college and had to take Calculus, Statistics and Computer Programming classes, I sure was glad that I had an understanding of the fundamentals! I was really glad that I had it when I took Accounting in College and in Grad School. I HATED term papers in high school…with a passion! But when I got to college, although I still don’t like them, I was extremely glad that I had been through English/Literature classes because boy, I wrote a million papers in College and Grad School. I probably wrote more papers in my 1st semester at college than I did my whole high school career!

I think that it is important to educate our children to the best of our abilities. It is our job as parents to equip them as best as we can to be productive members of society, at every age. It is very important for kids to be kids, but it is also very important for kids to learn how to function in a society and how to integrate into their peer group comfortably. As much as it stinks, schedules are a part of life! My boss sure does like it when I show up for work on time, make informed and timely decisions and can be autonomous in my work load. Would I rather be at home doing my own thing and hanging out? YEP! But I also understand that I have a house to be paid for, cars to be paid for, food to provide for my family and bills to pay (and fun free time activities too…I don’t want to give the impression of all business, no play here!), in short, I have responsibilities.

Kevin and I want Rory to grow up to be a smart, funny, well spoken, well rounded person and we feel that the best way to initiate that process is to provide her with the best opportunity for education that we can. We want to instill in her the drive to learn and to achieve and to be the best that she can be. Am I foolish enough to think that she is going to use 100% of what she learns in school 100% of the time? No! But I do know that providing her an education where she gets an appropriate exposure to many different things will better equip her to make decisions about the direction in which her life will take her. I know that I am extremely thankful for my education K-Grad School and so is Kevin.

If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change anything, I would still take all the classes that I hated in school (both Primary and Secondary education) because I feel like although I am not an expert, by an stretch of the imagination, I have an appropriate grasp on what is going on. If you had asked me in high school if I wanted to take all those crazy hard math classes I would have screamed “NO!” But in hindsight, that would have been a BIG mistake. I am glad that my parents didn’t always let me take the easy path, and that they pushed me, and allowed my teachers to do the same, to do my best to successfully complete the classes. Had I not done them, I wouldn’t have done well in College and Grad School.

All in all, we are excited about providing opportunities for Rory to get the best education that she can. We know that while it won’t be easy, and there will be times that she hates it, it is our responsibility to prepare her to support herself and her family and the best way to do that is to start at ground level, with a good foundation.

I realize that I got up on my soap box, sorry! Happy Wednesday!


Candi said...

Very well said! Education is the foundation of pretty much everything we do. Lol I could get on my soapbox as well but I feel like you covered it well :)
We have two Primrose schools up in Madison and one in Huntsville...both have HUGE waiting lists because understandably they are very desired.

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