Today we are going to be talking about the lost arts of learning. There are so many skills that our school children are simply not learning. Also, with national averages in math, literacy, history, etc, dropping, it appears that we have failed as a nation to teach our young well and be prepared for life outside of school.
In Douglas Wilson’s book, “Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, ” he tells of the concerning state of our public schools. He found astonishing research that children back in the 1990’s were failing at basic math and reading skills. What is most saddening and distressing today is that today’s children are not even taught how to learn. They are drilled with fact after fact, yet have no way of connecting it with anything they have learned. What is the use of learning something if it doesn’t make any sense?
Also, since schools have severe budget cuts, and with teachers having to use much of their salary to pay for the most basic school supplies, all children are graduated to the next grade, even if the child can barely read and do their numbers. In addition, if a child does do fairly well, they study all they can for the SAT’s and ACT’s, then forget what they have learned. Learning is meant to be remembered, not forgotten.
What can be done with this distressing situation?
Instead of trusting the government to educating children, many parents have taken back the responsibility, and have started educating children at home. Here, they have complete control of how the child learns and even help a child more if he or she is struggling. There have been many programs established for parents to educate their children themselves. Such as Classical Conversations, Smith Prep, and dozens of Christian schools that are recovering the classical tradition of a classical educated student. These institutions teach children the basic of grammar, logic,and rhetoric, which lays the foundations for a child to succeed in education, and move forward and master any area of learning he or she wishes to later learn.
I for one have been very blessed to have been homeschooled and learn the skills and virtues of how to learn. My parents encouraged us to explore all of our interests in detail, and find the how and the why for everything.
So I challenge you readers, to find something that you want to learn, and gain the pleasure of learning it and remembering. There is nothing more rewarding than learning something new.