The news can be depressing, fearful, and scary sometimes. The ‘whoa is me’ mentality of our country makes me feel like what my parents must have felt in the late 70s when we were little kids. It’s not a giving up mentality, heavens no! I have kids to raise; my husband and I have kids to give a future to!
They’re not going to want a future of debt, despair and communal living! They’re not going to want a government handout existence, or life of servitude to a Chinese replacement, no way!
To do that I must not only instil a can-do attitude, but give them something that they can do that will provide a future no matter where they go, and no matter what happens. A love of history? Important. An appreciate for the humanities? Of Course. But an ability to live in a technical society beyond our own of 2011- imperative.
I’m not talking ‘the ability to tweet well’
I’m not talking twitter. I’m not talking the ability to post to YouTube. That’s lazy man’s technology. What I’m talking about is the make up that will allow my children to invent the next great concrete additive, the next semiconductor adhesive, the next marine science robot. I don’t want to raise an Internet co-star- I want to raise nerds- a die hard geek would be OK too. Basically, I want STEM skills- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
It is obvious to me that technical abilities beyond the use of Photoshop shortcut keys is important to the long term success of this nation- or any nation. Is it wrong to steer my children towards a career that can benefit society? Of course not. Am I being selfish and not letting my kids explore other interests? If a hope in their future is selfish- I am guilty.
Its silly, but take a look at the chart- and see what got me roused again lately:
What I am doing to raise nerds
My kids are 16 through 4. 3 of them have specific science classes, math classes, etc… I am aware that children have to have an aptitude for the sciences to be able to perform- and from their report cards- I KNOW they have it. It’s a matter of sticking to it and maintaining focus- plus these tips I’ve been trying to employ around the house, or on the way to school:
- I’ve shown the oldest 3 the above chart- it’s an eye opener!
- I reward creativity at home (engineering is more creativity than science anyway)
- I start conversations with open Problem Solving questions of crazy ideas- like “If you were trapped on a desert island with a pick axe, 50 feet of pipe, and 16 candles, what would you build ?”
- We explore the world and talk about problems we see
- I reward report cards.
I also saw something new that I haven’t really looked into yet- but I wanted to share- the Ohio STEM office. The picture links to the site- they offer opportunities for kids beyond what your K-12 does.
What will I do if I raise an art history major?
Its sad- sad, sad, but, “I AINT PAYIN’ FOR NO ART HISTORY CLASSES!” My oldest knows this. Its an incentive.
Of course, I will always love my children, no matter how they turn out, but I love them so much and I love this country, and I care for their future- and for mine- that I don’t see any other responsible way to live.
Think I am crazy? Shout Back.