Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What Do Kids Really Need to Learn?

This post was written while at camp, on July 15th.

I've been thinking today about what kids really "need" to learn. Some people say algebra. Some say reading. John Holt has a great quote (that I can't find, because I have no internet) about how the only two things you need to learn is how to say I'm sorry and I love you. [EDIT: I finally managed to locate the quote, thanks to my mom randomly stumbling upon a note card that had it written on it. "Once when John Holy was speaking to a school audience, describing his views on their structured curriculum, a student asked him, 'But surely there must be something important enough that everyone should learn it?' He thought for a moment and replied, 'To learn to say I'm sorry, I don't know, and I was wrong.'" --Jan Hunt (Natural Child Project)]

I think that's a pretty good rule of thumb. But I do have a couple other things I will try to help my one day children learn:

1. To ask for help.
2. To admit to not knowing something. [EDIT: Apparently John's already got that one covered.]
3. To smile in the face of stress and anger.
4. To be able to look around and assess what needs doing -- and then do it.
5. To count to ten and breathe when stressed instead of blowing up.

Now, I am by no means an expert at any of these. I have bad moments, bad days -- bad weeks. But I try and do all of those things as much as possible, and it certainly has helped me through some stressful situations (such as the one I'm in right now).

Which reminds me:
6. To realize that all things, good and bad, will pass.

What do you think all kids should know? Comment below!

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