All my life, one thing was about as certain as death and taxes: that is my kids would go to a school designed about the same as the one I attended and that my parents had attended. Further, I find my grandchildren today attending a very similar system. However, there are signs that that might be changing in the near future.Obvious signs of the coming change are the current controversial tweaking of the public education system, through the creation of magnet schools, charter schools and voucher systems. But, according to a discussion between myself, Brandi Elliott, Marketing and Admissions Director for Northwest Academy in ID and Kimball DeLaMare, LCSW, Senior VP for Interchange, a network of three schools headquartered in UT, many other changes are happening that might profoundly change the way we conduct education.Changing attitudes of parents will have a profound impact as parents, who still are more influential on their children’s success than almost anything else, take more responsibility for making education choices for their children. This will increase as more approaches and choices become available.Online education expands tremendously the range and depth of subject matter available to the student in even the most rural areas. Although all the research indicates that an adult in the role of teacher (or mentor, facilitator, or proxy) is vital, online education can give students many additional educational options they could select from with the collaboration of their parents.Another important trend that will impact education is the rapid increase of psychological knowledge of child development, and especially that being learned from brain research. From this increased knowledge, the ability to more effectively intervene with emotional/behavioral problems and learning differences on an individual basis will become possible. No longer feasible will be the “one size fits all” approach which of necessity has been the focus of mass public education for the past century.What future schooling will look like is impossible to say with certainty, but what is fairly certain is finally, after a century of the factory model that has dominated education, the way we educate our young will be radically changed by these developing patterns in our society. Hopefully, children will no longer be plugged into a narrow category that only vaguely reflects the education they need, but parents and educators can meet the needs of all children and not just focus on the happy medium.
As a responsible parent, you want to consider everything that is going to affect your child, both for the short-term and for the long-term. Some things that will affect your child are going to be out of your control, such as genetics and personal preference. There are plenty of things that you can do, however, which will help to shape your child from a very young age and prepare them for a full and rewarding life. One of the choices that you can make is that of educational toys. What are the long-term benefits of those toys to children?Education – Many of the educational toys that are enjoyed by very young children are going to provide them with what is necessary to continue with education for the long term. In some cases, those toys are going to be geared toward specific studies, such as science, reading or math. You can pick and choose the toys that are being used by your child to help prepare them for the years of education that are ahead of them. In fact, many children are entering into grade school today with the ability to read, write and with a basic understanding of mathematics. That was something that was unheard of, just a few short years ago.Although your child is certainly going to benefit from the educational aspect of these toys at a young age, it may affect their overall educational choices. When a child enters school with advanced abilities, they tend to be more focused on their schoolwork. This is something that could benefit them for years to come.Confidence – Educational toys help to build confidence in the child and this is something that can have long-term effects on them as well. One of the ways that confidence can benefit a child is by allowing them to explore new areas. When a child is lacking in confidence, they often tend to be withdrawn and they may not pursue many of the things that life has to offer. A confident child, on the other hand, feels free to explore and to enjoy life in and out of the educational system.Creativity – Some educational toys also tend to foster creativity in a child and this is something that can stick with them throughout their lifetime. This can either be seen in specific types of educational toys that are geared toward creativity as well as some of the creative aspects of other educational toys. Your child will learn to be more resourceful along with being creative, and that will certainly have long-term benefits for them.There are many other benefits to using educational toys that you may want to explore. These can include teaching a child to be less selfish, helping them to develop social skills and even helping them to desire a cleaner environment. Although these benefits are certainly going to be available to your child for the short-term, they may also have long-term benefits which will be evident as they grow and mature.