With shortfalls in education budgets, the arts — visual art, music and theater programs — are first to be eliminated from school curriculum. Sadly, they are considered “non-essential” as they cannot be tested in the same way as other subjects. School funding and teacher performance evaluations are based on student test scores.
Time and time again, I have gone into classrooms to hear that children have already self-determined that they are or are not artists. The ones that say they are continue to explore and enjoy the process, and have a drive to continue and seek out the information they need. Sadly, it is the majority that decides they do NOT have what it takes to be an artist. This is tragic.
When our daughter was 5, I developed for our home school the following physics lesson to teach her and a 6 year old friend Newton’s three laws of motion.
Now, in my talks to parents, I lead them through this activity so they can actually experience what it feels like to be a kinesthetic learner.
As parents, we expect that our schools provide an emotionally and physically safe environment for our children – and that includes no bullying. The good news is that most schools meet our expectations by enforcing no-tolerance policies on the issue, and take great measures to deal with bullying appropriately, even mandating that teachers attend workshops on learning to recognize and prevent it.