What’s the Point of Going to School?
January 28, 2019
A Normal Question for Kids
Many children question the fact that school is useful. And let’s face it, being able to identity a triangle’s hypotenuse or knowing the periodic table by heart isn’t all that useful for most adults. So then what’s the point of going to school? Is it really important?
Kids are quick to say, “I can find it on Google anyways!” and that’s another good point that’s difficult to argue. Nowadays, kids don’t really need to know things by heart; they’ve never known a world without the Internet. It can seem strange for them to memorize dates for an exam when the information is just a click away.
When you look at it that way, it starts to make sense to debate the importance of school. A lot of kids will consider questions of this nature during their school career, and it’s absolutely justified. But other than telling them that school is mandatory from ages 6 to 16 in Quebec and until 18 in New Brunswick, how can you answer their interrogations?
Explaining Why School Matters
Sometimes, only practice makes perfect.
Give your kid a concrete example: “Would you know how to play the piano perfectly after watching a video? No, it would probably be quite hard to play a song the first time. You’d have to try over and over again to get the hang of it. You’d probably play the wrong keys countless times before getting it right. The same goes for several aspects of life.”
Your child might reply that what he or she’s learning in school will never be useful. In reality, there’s much more to school than getting good grades in geography and history. School is not just academics; it aims to teach our children what life is all about.
School is where children develop a wealth of skills they’ll need to function on their own later. In school, kids learn to:
- understand written information;
- work with others;
- express themselves and organize ideas;
- develop work habits;
- develop problem solving skills;
- find information in the right place in new situations;
- analyze different subjects from all angles;
- build relationships of trust and develop strong friendships;
- recognize what they like to eventually choose a career;
- stimulate their curiosity and discover new things;
- handle stress;
- deal with change;
- manage their time.
Don’t be afraid to talk about this and to give them a few examples from their day-to-day life so they can find a meaning to what they do. They’ll definitely be more motivated.
The Internet Issue
Is everything on the Internet true? Take this opportunity to raise your child’s awareness about this issue. Kids need to learn how to search on the Internet too. How does one know if the information is true or reliable? Who wrote it? Is this person a reference on the subject?
Take the time to explain to your child that what he or she finds on the Internet must be read thoroughly and analyzed to make sure it’s trustworthy.