Most parents that I run into these days want their children to have a better life than they did. They don’t want them to have to worry about money and most want their children to have the best of everything. This usually leads to the conclusion that the best education will afford them that opportunity (unless you want them to be a highly successful Jewel Thieves or Drug Dealers). Unfortunately, too many of them depend solely on the schools and their teachers.
Obviously a necessary beginning to a great education is a school and some teachers. I’ve never been an advocate of Home-schooling, especially in this day and age, where EVERY field has many levels of Specialists. How could anyone expect to know more about educating children than someone who has attended many years of college, has a degree and is working in the field? Stick to what you know (mechanic, lawyer, nurse, CPA, bus driver or home-maker) and leave the teaching to the professionals.
Successfully educating children, however, does NOT stop there. Dropping your kids off at school and expecting miracles will pretty much yield the opposite of what you are hoping for. Teachers are not magicians and much like anything in life, that is worthwhile, we have to work hard at it (children & parents alike). This not only means asking if their homework is done but checking & helping… not just attending church, but instilling deep moral values…not just saying Thank You, but helping someone in need. Studies have shown that smart, successful children come from Well-Rounded backgrounds.
The Orange County Register recently published an article entitled “Tight Communities Help Best Campuses Shine”. The article delved into the fact that many of the highly successful schools consistently have stellar academic standards and close-knit communities (on and off campus). This seemed to ring true whether in affluent neighborhoods or not. One key factor was parents being actively involved in helping & supporting the schools & teachers (not bucking the system and placing blame). Another mutually beneficial factor was getting the kids to interact with each other, in clubs and as teams, as well as out-reach projects in their communities. A sense of pride in themselves, clubs/teams, their school and their community is what perpetuates great students and successful adults.
You can argue all you want; that you are paying hard-earned money for your children’s education (whether through taxes to public schools or directly to private ones) and that should be enough. However, the indisputable truth is that teachers cannot do it alone. The Buck will Always stop here. If you want your children to have a better life you must stay vigilant for many years to come.
For more information about schools, scores, demographics, crime rates and more, please check out this Fabulous site; http://www.orangecountyrealestates.com/mischool/zip/92807/