If you could give your child anything in the world, what would it be? Would it be peace, safety, self-sufficiency, satisfaction with life, wisdom, resilience, self-awareness or all of the above?
Yes, parents want all good things for their children and wish to prepare them for a future that includes ‘all of the above’.
That is why decisions about schooling are made early on and given much thought. Schooling, along with family life, makes up the whole day of the child. The outcome of this 18+ year commitment is what everyone hopes is a fully compatible, rarified human with amazing abilities. A complete person, ready to launch into a university and/or career leading to a lovely life and home (hopefully at a different address than yours).
These up-and-comers joining society and the workforce start with hope and enthusiasm. It is here that some may ask “Is this all there is?”
It may be all there is if they don’t find joy in their work.
Finding joy in work is the outcome of practicing skills and acquiring attributes from the process of learning that elevates above the ordinary and last much longer than mechanical studying for the purpose of passing tests. There are no more tests after school – there is LIFE.
To help prevent the future question “Is this all there is”, what should you be asking now?
If you want to help your children feel fulfilled in life and their careers, you should start by asking these questions during their school years:
- Are they learning to work well with a diverse group of people, with many different personalities and viewpoints?
- Are they discovering there is more than one answer to a problem?
- Are they learning how they can discern fact from fiction in a media-driven world?
- Are they discovering their passions were and how they could utilize them to be happy people and help others?
- Are they learning to think logically?
- Are they learning how to research and experience the joy of sticking with a project with grit and determination – even when success wasn’t assured?
If you can answer yes to all of the questions above, your child is off to a good start in being able to find joy in work.
Do schools like this really exist?
There are schools that believe in providing the opportunity to practice these “soft skills.” That support students by giving them the time to question, make mistakes, try again and be gritty. Working through challenges is immensely fulfilling and brings joy to work.
I found such a school 30 years ago – an authentic Montessori School. I still find today that, while Montessori doesn’t hold the one true answer to student-centered education, it already has the curriculum, elite teacher requirements, organizational structure, historical success and zest for exploration that for me checks ‘all of the above’ boxes.
When choosing a school, check the culture, not just convenience. Look at the mission and guiding principles, not just the amenities. By investing your time and your resources, you are giving your child the best that you can give him in the years that matter the most.
Come observe our students at Montessori House Schools and imagine these students 10 years from now.