What should I go to school for?
Why do I need to go to school?
Seriously, why go to school at all?
If you are a parent with a school-aged child, then there’s a good chance you will have heard this question at some time during your parenting stint. This post aims to help you answer this question and explain the importance of school for kids.
Firstly you need to know, the questioning only gets worse when your kids hit high school.
Do I really need to know calculus?
When will I ever use algebra again in my daily life?
What is the point of learning stuff that I will never need to use again?
Let’s nip this right in the bud.
And we need to keep it real too and be honest with our kids.
This is what you need to tell them:
Yes, there’s a good chance that you will never need to know 90% of the stuff you learn but THAT ISN’T THE POINT OF SCHOOL!
The point of school is to get used to proper structure (do you recognize anything else that has structure – that’s right, a work day!).
You are expected to come to school at a certain start time and lateness is frowned upon.
You are expected to stay until a certain end time and you can’t just leave whenever you want.
You will need to follow certain rules (listen to your teachers, respect other people’s property, do your tasks without disrupting others etc).
Plus in most cases you will be required to wear attire that is appropriate for the occasion (if not an uniform, then something at least appropriate. You can’t rock up to school with your bathers or pajamas on.)
Your brain also needs to be exercised.
You know how you have those legs and we used to make you go outside for a runaround?
Nowadays you may play soccer. Sometimes you swim. Sometimes you climb trees, or go bike-riding or skateboarding.
These are all different ways to keep your body fit.
And that is the same with school stuff.
Your teachers engage you with lessons and knowledge so that your mind is always thinking, learning and growing.
Your mind is meant to be used and engaged, otherwise you would be a zombie kid staring into space, never knowing your true capabilities.
Yes some of the stuff is boring.
And most of the stuff I learned during high school I have never thought about since leaving school.
But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t important to learn.
Maybe the lessons aren’t the lessons itself but the things you gained as a consequence – such as time-management and problem-solving skills, discipline and a sense of accomplishment when you complete something challenging.
Now that I’m an adult, I don’t get overwhelmed by little challenges anymore because hey, I was well-trained during my school years to tackle stuff I didn’t always understand every day.
Thanks to school, my mind is now used to dealing with problems and working out solutions. At school, you are regularly exposed to new ideas and constantly encouraged to think about things in a different way.
And guess what? During school, you get the opportunity to discover the sort of things you DO love.
Sure you won’t love anything. But think about all the subjects you get to cover at school – Math, Science, English, Geography, History, Art, Tech, Physical Education, Languages, Textiles and Business Studies etc.
There are surely some subjects you are good at or at least enjoy.
Back when I was in high school, I couldn’t see any connection between the subjects I liked and my potential future career path. But English was always my favorite subject – I absolutely loved reading and writing – and lo and behold I grew up to be an author of 20 books. (Yet I still majored in psychology while I was at university so go figure!).
You may not realize it now but at school you are constantly learning all about your strengths and weaknesses.
Are there any subjects you love learning?
What are the subjects you are naturally good at?
Maybe you hate schoolwork but love the social aspect of things.
Well that is a strength too and part of the reason why kids are sent to school in the first place.
We go to school so that we can learn to get along with others. Through interacting with our peers, we learn the all-important skills of communication, developing and nurturing relationships and learning how to deal with conflict-resolution.
At school, you get to build friendships. You get to work out what qualities are important to you in a friend and you have the time and opportunity to nurture these friendships.
Sure school isn’t always a bed of roses but life never is.
School can be the most fantastic place in the world or the worst place in the world, depending on the experiences you have inside those four walls. And every kid will have a different experience.
Yet statistics show that children who embrace learning, who consistently come to school and work hard, dramatically increase their chances of future success.
So it is up to you to choose the path you want to go down. Try to embrace all the opportunities and extra-curricular activities offered to you whilst at school. Soak up all the knowledge. Listen, learn and grow. Put in the effort and you will see the results.
Education is compulsory for a reason. You may not realize it yet but having a good education unlocks doors to freedom. It really, really does.
As Nelson Mandela once said, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world“.
So yes, I promise you, if you ever ask the question again – there IS a good reason why you go to school…
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