Yesterday a fellow hockey mom and I met at a school hockey game and had a brief chat about our sons’ school.
Public school in this country, Canada, is a sore topic for me to broach so at the risk of this post turning into rant, I will only say this:
She and I see eye to eye on some of the curriculum changes that have occurred in recent years. Short answer is that we’re less than happy.
While both my kids are still in elementary school (well, technically middle school with grade 5 and grade 7), I do have a little bit of foresight into the future. My partner teaches college students, many of whom are recent graduates of the current public school curriculum. Let me say this: the majority of them have trouble stringing a grammatically correct sentence together, let alone a whole research project.
Don’t even start me with math. Basic knowledge in arithmetic is sorely lacking and some of his students want to be pilots. Pilots require the ability to do some quick mental math calculations without necessarily reaching for a smartphone all the time…(am I right, pilot friends?)
I am appalled at some of the things I see and worry about my own kids’ future.
Readers in non-North American countries:
Do your kids rely as much on Google and Wikipedia as the kids appear to do so here in Canada and the USA?
What about you, fellow Canadian and American readers? What do you think about all this googling happening with our kids?
It is simply maddening to me, and it takes a much more hands-on effort to guide my own kids away from these habits. My 10yo daughter gets positively overwhelmed at the results coming back to her when googling her questions. Most of the results are completely age-inappropriate. Plus, there is little hope she can sift through what is correct and accurate, and what is not.
And please, for the love of all things typed and written, do NOT use Google Translate. As a multi-lingual person, trust me when I say that it is not a good way to ‘cheat’.
There are no textbooks to speak of anymore in elementary schools in this area, and if there are some, they stay at school and need to be shared. This does not have to be a bad thing necessarily, I realize books are very heavy to lug around. But I do wish that more teachers would select a few appropriate links and submit them to the students to use. My daughter does in fact have a teacher who does this, but I wonder often why I catch her using Goggle anyway. Is she supplementing? Or is she unhappy with the provided link?
There is much to learn in the world of public education for us parents these days.
Please tell me I am not the only one who sees this as a problem…