Summer is over. It’s time for children all across America to put away the suitcases and pull out the backpacks. It’s time for children to put away the swim suits and pull out the new school clothes their parents bought for them. It’s time for children to put away the idea of waking up after lunchtime and pull out the alarm clock set for 6:00 am.
For some children these things all sound really exciting. They get new school supplies. They get a new wardrobe. They get to meet new friends and classmates.
I was always on the other end of the spectrum. I enjoyed summer vacation and never really looked forward to going back to school after summer vacation. If I was a student reading those statements I would cringe. I would not be excited about any of those things.
So if your child has this same attitude- I get it. I understand their dread in meeting new classmates. Or in waking up early to go sit in class and be lectured. I get it.
Because you see, as a child I always failed to see what a complete blessing it is to receive an education. For me it was just a required part of life. I never saw it as an option. I thought all kids were forced to go to school by their parents.
As I grew up I realized not all kids living in other countries went to school. But I never grasped how much of a blessing it was that I was able to go to school.
Not only was I able to go to school but I was able to receive an education for free.
Maybe in your opinion it isn’t exactly free to send your child to school because as an upstanding American citizen you pay taxes that provide free education for children. But in the grand scheme of things your child is receiving a free education if they attend public school.
It is possible for every child in America to attend school and receive a solid education without paying for it.
That is absolutely not the case where I live.
Friday our day was a little switched around and instead of going running about seven in the morning it was eleven before I tied my shoes and headed out the door.
Eleven o’clock on a Friday morning in America means every kid is in school. Some may be eating lunch. Some may be outside at pe. Some may be sitting in a classroom learning. But every child is at school.
As I ran down the road I heard the laughter of children. I saw children pretend fighting with sticks. Or running from their friends as they played what looked like a game of tag. With every house that I passed I saw more and more children outside playing.
These children were not in school on a Friday morning at eleven o’clock. And they were not in school the day before. And they won’t be in school Monday morning. Because these children don’t go to school.
Not because their parents don’t want them to go. Not because the children are choosing not to go.
They can’t afford it.
School isn’t free. The police don’t send parents to jail if their kids are not in school. The children just don’t go.
Because it is more important for the family to have dinner most nights than for the children to be able to receive an education.
Without the opportunity to receive an education the cycle for these children continues. They are not able to get a well-paid job as an adult. They struggle to provide for their family. They don’t have the opportunities for advancement in life. So the same struggles they grew up with their children then experience.
And until someone pays for their child to go to school the cycle is never broken.
Make sure your child realizes the privilege it is to attend a school where their teachers love and care for them. Make sure your child understands how much of a blessing it is they can go to school for free. Make sure your child knows because of their free education there will be so many more opportunities for them in life than a lot of other children in the world will ever know about.