School seems more rigorous today than it was when I was growing up. Indeed the workload for the students is much heavier. And it would seem like the additional load would call for a longer summer. But I think it’s more common to see just the opposite. For us, summer break now is four weeks shorter than it was when I was growing up. I hate that for my children. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not an opponent of schooling for children. I just think they ought to have more time to enjoy being children.
One thing that really hasn’t changed about school is the subject matter itself. Math, history, science and English/literature are still the required courses, and my children are pretty much learning all of the same stuff that I learned, only faster and in more depth. In high school, the students are reading books that I’m sure I didn’t read until I was in college. And most of their textbooks are college-level as well.
My complaint is that school is terribly stressful for young people today. And the pressure to get in a good college also makes parents anxious to see their children qualify. This fact compounds the stress, and while I’m speaking just from my own experience, I think we all need a break. Aren’t you glad summer is here?
It just seems all too much. Sure, we want our children to do well in life. But are we pushing for higher SAT scores at the expense of teaching our children about beauty, peace and love? It’s something to think about. Children aren’t too young to learn about Joyous Gard. In most ways I think they are already well qualified to recognize the paths that lead to restoration, hope and happiness and the rich treasures of a purposeful life.
Take my oldest child, for example. She loves music of all kinds, old and new. It comforts me to know that she is so familiar with at least one of the paths that lead her to those heightened feelings of the spirit. It’s my hope that she will carry that with her for the rest of her life. I want to do what I can to make sure of it.
We all desperately need our sources of spiritual vitality, whether they come in the form of prayer and worship or singing and dancing. We need to enjoy each other. We need to love and sympathize, and together, create and discover. I believe that the behavioral hallmarks of sanity are to laugh, love and learn. Take a moment to think about these things, and make this one of your greatest summers ever.
Day 24 Guide
Laugh, love and learn. Think about how you might integrate these things into your life plan.
© 2005, Levi Hill