• The Mind Of A Child

    June 10, 2024
    Photo Credit: Leo Rivas | unsplash 

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    Children are not blank slates — anyone with kids can tell you that. They have their own personalities right from the start. Each one is a unique individual. No two are alike. As soon as they can say more than a few words they will communicate some amazingly sophisticated ideas. Not blank slates. Yes, they may have a lot to learn and yes they need to grow up, but they are no less complete a person than you are. They are complete people in small bodies. Treat them so. Give them respect. Treat them the way you would like to be treated. They deserve that. And when you do, watch how they flourish.

    You might think of newborns as coma patients who have suddenly awoken from a twenty-year sleep. They are physically weak, disoriented and uncoordinated. Unfamiliar with their environment. So yes, they need help. They do need orientation. But they are not stupid. They learn incredibly fast. Once better oriented, they can figure things out for themselves, and do.

    Worldwide propaganda on the subject of children and education has thoroughly duped well-meaning parents, teachers and politicians alike. Convinced them that “normal” childhood behavior is no longer normal; that it is somehow a mental illness requiring treatment. If that isn’t bad enough, every fringe behavior is demanded to be normalized. Crazy or not.

    We have the worst of both ideas. Condemning civilized norms while enforcing fringe behaviors as normal. A lose-lose situation.

    Norms are necessary. Norms are the foundation stones on which we build civilizations. The agreements necessary for dynamic interactive living. Imagine going into a foreign country with an unknown language, unknown customs and laws, and trying to live and work successfully. A stranger in a strange land. There is a reason why immigrants struggle at first until they find common ground. And why second generations learn the local language, dress and customs nearly universally, usually at the encouragement of their own parents. Assimilation works.

    But that kind of normalization is a healthy form of cooperation. It is a far cry from the kind of oppressive grinding down of individuals into a conforming mass that is so popular today. Agree or be destroyed is as bad an operation as you can do to a mind and spirit.

    Variation from norms is the source of all advancement. The visionary, the artist, the revolutionary. These are the civilization creators, these are the explorers and expanders, those who broaden horizons, who boldly go where no man has gone before. Marco Polo, Columbus, Magellan, Da Vinci, Newton, Pasteur, Einstein. Every field under the sun has men and women who cut new paths through the jungle of life. Men who climb to the top of the safe city walls and dare look beyond. Men who venture into the unknown just because they can. Every generation has them. And they all start out as children.

    Children have infinite minds. A child can go from the dark depths of grief to soaring joy in seconds, from debilitating apathy to rocket speed action before you can manage to form a thought.

    Children have imaginations that can easily create live people from whole cloth, that let them step out of the sandbox and onto a pirate ship without skipping a beat, or sail out of a bedroom and into a princess castle in the twinkle of an eye.

    As has been said, children are sponges for knowledge. They learn at lightning-fast, mind-boggling speed, if you let them. All you need to do is point them in the right direction and get out of their way. Try it, you’ll like it.

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    Ed Thompson

    Ed Thompson has worked in education for over 25 years, both tutoring individuals and teaching classes. He has helped students from three to seventy-three years old, and in subjects from beginning reading all the way to MBA classes and postgraduate biology. Students ranged from severely challenged to gifted and advanced. This work has given him a unique perspective and has led to insights on what’s broken about our educational system and how we can make it better. He is the host of the Basic Education Series podcasts and author of educational books. Learn more at https://basiced.substack.com.

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    Finally an article about Republicans

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