Kids These Days

Chicken Coop Construction

It’s getting closer and closer as the Crosby homeschool start date approaches.  (Usually things that are approaching do get closer and closer.)  Redundancy is one of my many talents that I immerse myself in over and over and over.  (heh heh heh)  Anyway, we always start school the day after Labor Day.  Remember when that was the official start date… back in the day.  Old school.  I grew up knowing what Labor Day stood for….. S-C-H-O-O-L minus 24 hours.  The end of Popsicles dripping off our chins.  The end of late nights in the fort secretly eating the neighbor’s carrots from the garden.  The end of shorts and tank tops because back in the day we had to wear respectable clothing to school.  I guess you can’t learn as much in a tank and cut-offs. 

Anyway, with the need for higher level sciences that I am not schooled in, we actually had to start getting out of bed earlier than 8:00 a.m. in AUGUST to get our high schooler to Biology.  What in the world?  (You may have guessed, but I’m not doing too well on going to bed earlier…. or waking up earlier.  I’m 1 for 7 before 11:30 so far.)  When did American kids get so stupid that summer was cut short and classroom time increased to make up for the numbskulls here in our homeland?  And with the time adjustments, the tests got easier and the scores are still dropping.  In my humble opinion, it’s not the quantity of time sitting behind a desk that is leading to lower levels of learning.  It’s that less and less is expected of kids these days…. in school, at home, on the team.  It’s sad.

Yes, I’m still reading the book Do Hard Things and I whole heartily agree with the two whippersnappers that penned the tome.  Teenagers were not only not called teenagers 100 years ago, but there weren’t teenagers.  You were a kid playing with sticks and marbles, keeping frogs in the pockets of your overalls, making daisy chains, and then WHAM, you were an adult with grown-up responsibilities.  Twelve year olds WERE capable of planting the crops, shoeing horses, running the household, steering ships, nursing the sick.  What do 12 year olds do today?  The Wii, skateboard, maybe girl/boy scouts, but not a whole lot else.  Embarrassing, that’s what it is, that we don’t expect anything of youngsters these days.

The Crosby household is primarily run by three children, ages 14, 11 and 9.  I’m in a supervisory role, not really a participatory role any more.  (It’s SWEET!)  We have found that if we expect greatness, it arises.  When our kids were 11, 8 and 6 they measured and drew the backyard to scale, designed the sprinkler and drip systems for lawn, trees and flowerbeds… dug LOTS of the trenches… and our 8 year old son measured, cut, glued and installed the deal.  Three years later it still is working like a charm.  He’s not a nerd with thick glasses and a pocket protector either.

I remember getting a flat tire once and my seven year old son hopped out and changed it.  All the kids cook full meals that include fresh vegetables, homemade entrees and desserts.  If you can reach the dials on the washing machine… guess what?… it’s your turn to do laundry.  These kids truly are capable of grown-up tasks.  Some day, two young ladies are going to profusely thank us for training our sons to be REAL men… you know, laundry, dishes, meatloaf and toilets. 

If you are going easy on your kids, it’s not too late to convert. I highly recommend it.

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4 Responses to “Kids These Days”

  1. morethananelectrician Says:

    I really believe that the kids aren’t what has changed over all of these years…it is the parents that raise the children (or don’t). You are doing a wonderful job.

  2. LaVonna Says:

    I often wonder what happened to the unwritten code of conduct, no work-no play. That to me is a no brainer!

  3. Pam Says:

    Can you recommend other resources (other than Do Hard Things) to help parents and/or motivate in this area?

  4. rixgal Says:

    Hi Pam, The initial book I read 7 years ago was Life Skills for Kids by Christine M. Field. It lists 12 areas that kids need to develop in: people skills, home skills, life navigaion skills, time organization, space organization, money management, health lifestyle skills, healthy mind skills, creative skills and celebrations skills. We look at the summary I made of the book every Fall when we write goals for our kids.

    As far as motivation, one of the ideas listed in Do Hard Things is to do things in groups, so peer-relationships are a draw for the kids.

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