The voices of the future

OK grown ups, let's face it. Many of us are skeptical about the future.  Cynical even. It's not like when we were growing up.

But maybe it is.

We still have schools. We still have kids. And, we still have books. I find it very enlightening to talk with kids about books~ and with the book clubs I'm running, I have a lot of time to do that. Without a framework or worksheet, without expectations- it's amazing what happens in discussions.

For example, while reading through a new book- one of my girls asked what a strawberry-blonde was. So, we had to help her paint a picture! Unfortunately, our room was filled with brunettes, dirty-blonds, auburn heads, raven heads, and yes- even a carrot top. So, we all identified what our color was, asked a teacher walking through~ and then we wanted to know what tow-headed was. So the very girl who asked what a strawberry blonde was, went to the computer and looked up the origin of tow-headed- and without prompting. The "look it up" syndrome we had as children has become second nature in our techno world. Doesn't seem like a bad thing to me.

Some days, the questions are deeper: "Mrs. Ramsey, why didn't the German's stop Adolf Hitler?" "Mrs. Ramsey, why did people think it was ok for people to be treated differently based on color?"

Let me remind you: these are 10 year olds. That's right. Kids. Don't underestimate their ability to think. To learn. To go deep. Don't discount that the youngest among us are shallow and preoccupied by gaming and wanting more "stuff". Be encouraged- that these kids can think, and that they can ask hard questions...and that they want to learn.


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