“David Goes To School” by David Shannon


Last week I claimed the supremacy of wisdom over knowledge, as far as what’s more useful in life. Although I still stand by it, I don’t dismiss knowledge as such. I would be a hypocrite if I did. I am very proud of every little bit that I have learned at school and beyond, even if I have already forgotten most of it. Yes, I was a dork, indeed. Years later, I have one grudge, though. The knowledge I was gaining at school, seemed so detached from real life. I was studying chemical formulas and periodic tables, but I couldn’t see a connection between bases and baking soda, for example. Luckily, learning has become more hands-on these days. Thanks goodness for that, as I would rather have my son understand a topic instead of quoting encyclopedias. To illustrate my argument, let me mention a little Bangladeshi boy, who in his attempt to impress me with his knowledge of English,  fluently recited a paragraph from his handbook on the qualities of jute. At the same time, he was unable to respond to a simple  “What’s your name?”

I do believe we should raise knowledgeable children. And of course, since we, parents can’t teach them everything on every subject,  the role of school in this respect is undeniable. Children should go to school to get education that will properly respond to their potential. Again, I am not trying to say, do what you can, pay what you can’t, but send your child to the best private school around. Certainly not. (Unless you choose to be a part of an exhausting and humiliating charade… Anyone seen “The Best and The Brightest”?) There are lots of good schools to choose from and even more talented, dedicated and charismatic teachers, that just wait to be exploited by motivated and knowledge-hungry students. Let’s take advantage of them!

There is one other aspect I’d like to touch upon, when speaking about schooling of our children. I believe that  the primary purpose of school is to learn. Children progress from “I don’t know” to “I do know”. It is okay not to know in the beginning. What I see, however , is that parents often view school as a place to show off their children’s error-free achievements and impeccable behavior. Children are sent to school a year later, to get a cognitive advantage over the younger class mates or  follow after-school math and reading classes, in order to be ahead of the curriculum. Where is it all going to?

Just a few days before the school starts, I invite you to read “David Goes To School”.  As you can see in this school adventure, even a naughty student like David will not be expelled from school, but will be taught the proper behavior. After a series of reprimands, he will finally deserve a star for doing a good job. 

A hilarious way to help your child (and yourself ) prepare for a new school year. If David does fine at school, every child will.

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