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My Favorite Quote About Education

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” Plato (BC 427-BC 347)

When I was growing up, my mother was strict and if I didn’t answer something correctly there would be consequences. Parents often utilize a system of punishments and rewards with their child, which is fine, so long as each justify the means – so to speak. Many parents are too harsh with their children and have expectations that are too high for them. I do agree that educators should be firm, but with a balance of understanding, patience, and motivation to find other ways to get a student to learn. I have seen many children hit or yelled at because they weren’t doing well in school or they get an answer wrong. This is absurd and no way for a child to learn. I realize that parents are doing less of this in our time, but it still occurs all over the world. I remember one day tutoring one of my second grade girls. She’s usually very lively and a lot of fun to work with, but on this day she was nervous and scared. I couldn’t figure out why, but she then said “oh no, I don’t want my dad to be home,” which tells me that her father might have been rather harsh with her recently. This girl is under tremendous pressure to move up many levels in her reading – this father is putting more pressure on each of her tutors. She’s 8 years old – just a child. Why should this girl be scared to learn? Parents need to spend more time working with their children and getting to understand what their needs are instead of being harsh with them. By being harsh, you are pushing your children further away – an education that sticks with them longer than them getting that answer wrong.

~La