The More We Old Folks Lose Touch With Young Folks, the More Harshly We Criticize Them.

Newly retired, at 65 I tutored in an up-scale community's high school. Kids who were not making it...repeat, NOT MAKING IT, in the mainstream math classes, were doing set theory and more that I first saw in science and engineering studies in college. Half of their textbook exercises were in metric units.

Back among the retired folk I knew, I said they were wrong to complain of all young people. The determined complainers had probably grown up in abusive homes so I dealt with them differently.

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Andrew, you are correct. What goes on at home is a major influence on how they perform in school.
Both of my gdaughters score several years ahead of their grade levels. But they have had active parenting and grandparents since birth. Children who are left to raise themselves won't do as well as the ones who have positive feedback and active family participation.

I agree...

My wife and I spend a lot time with our kids homework. My wife is a mathematician and I am the reader with always asking questions. We emphasize to my kids what George Carlin had to say:

“Don’t just teach your children to read…
Teach them to question what they read.
Teach them to question everything....including teachers”

I added the "including teachers"

There were numerous occasions of what my boys passed to me what their teachers are uttering and some were quite alarming.

B, "My teacher said that anything that moves is considered a living thing"

Me : "So rocks rolling down a hill is alive?"

My two boys often say the are bored with school and  my older son said quote, "I feel my teacher waste my time on things I already know"

They are already in honors in math and science classes. Still, my wife and I need to come up with challenging ideas and teach them to think critically. We bought a book titled,

" An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments " by Ali Almossawi (author) and Alejandro Giraldo (Illustrator). It is a pretty good book. To add excitement to their minds, I get books that were considered banning from public schools...like "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" , "I Am Jazz" ( this book is based on a transgendered child in Florida)  , "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" and my 13 ear old enjoyed "Catcher in the Rye" immensely. I included these books because I wanted to add a streak of rebellion in them.... not to learn how to disparage people but to keep their curiosity alive.

As a retired teacher, I feel encouraged that you and many other parents take such an interest in their children's education. I agree children need to read the controversial books. 

I assume you know about Howard Zinn, especially his A People’s History of the United States: 1492 – Present

Other books by Zinn:  Books by Howard Zinn

... I read many controversial books.... Against my parents wishes.... >.>

I've even read the Koran, back in high school..... That was a painful experience.

I've always scored exceptionally high on reading comprehension tests, along with writing. Math wasn't always my strongest subject (mostly cause my teachers didn't understand it well enough to be teaching it in the first place), but once I got to college that helped a lot.

We used to take the CAT's (not to be confused with SAT's) when I was a kit. Since the 3rd grade my reading comprehension was considered "college level" or so I was told.

That said. I've always been a bit different and isolated among my peers. I often give them little tests to see how well they understand things. Just a personal habit of mine, which helps determine how far I can trust someone.

I've always mocked how old people do nothing but find ways to complain about young people. On average I think many old people fail to keep up with how things have changed, making very subjective judgments that may have been applicable at one time, but not so much anymore (like the reasons younger people struggle to find employment). That said, I generally do agree that most people (from what I've seen) in my generation simply aren't as skilled with language skills and math skills, particularly from lower economic areas (though this seems to be the case anywhere with the exception of students who really get into science fields).

I've often said instead of focusing on the statement "rich getting richer poor getting poorer" (which is an important concern). It may be better to focus more on the dynamic "the smart are moving forward, the uneducated are being left behind" 

I think you are correct, BenGee, about shifting from rich vs poor to educated vs uneducated. It puts the emphasis on the individual to prepare for adult functioning. 

As a culture, we need to make sure our young prepare the future, not for the past. Modern kids need to be able to solve problems, resolve conflicts, and work as a team. 

:) Thank you :)

I think this also means opening education to all, including higher education.

It's still a matter of individual responsibility, you have to choose it, you have to want it. But the gateway to the future opens for all who make that choice.

That's how I see it anyway.

One of my favorite books as a child was "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster. I don't remember how old I was the first time I read it (I was pretty young though). That book opened up my mind, my world to all the hidden wonders and enjoyable games locked inside of language. It was brilliantly funny, and one of the keys to unlocking my life long love and passion for the written language.

I recently started reading it again as an adult, and its still quite fun. I highly recommend it if you've never experienced it.

I just downloaded "The Phantom Tollbooth" and put it in my Reading File. Thanks for the recommendation. 

Anytime, its written for kids, yet there's hidden gems within the language and word choices I think anyone can appreciate. It's silly and light, yet still somehow pretty deep at times. 

Just.... don't drink milk while reading, unless you like making a mess lol. 

Please let me know how you like it!

I will. 

Are there two or more versions of Catcher in the Rye?

After decades of hearing it said something about youthful masturbation, I found a copy and read it. I didn't see so much as one word about that sport.

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