The results from this years Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) Tests are in and Mattawan scored in the top 5 in almost every category being often number one or number two in Southwest Michigan. It confirms what anyone with students in Mattawan Consolidated Schools already knew; our schools are academically awesome! The schools are doing an excellent job at their primary responsibility and I commend them for their continued commitment to education.
But reading the results led me to another conclusion. The role of the schools in our kids lives is very limited. The school doesn’t exist to teach my kid how to ride a bike, or how start a camp fire, they do not exist primarily to teach our kids good social behavior, or how to tell right from wrong.
No matter how great your public school is academically, there are still plenty of things that kids will need to learn from their parents. We regularly see so many public figures who have skills at acting, singing, or on the playing field who have very little character in the way they live their lives. Even some who are very educated and aspire to and achieve public office, can’t keep from sexting pictures, despite knowing that their entire career might be at stake.
I am grateful for a good school system, but I only see it as an extension of my role as the PRIMARY educator for my children. At Mattawan Consolidated Schools they will learn about verbs but they will not likely learn that “love” is a verb. They will learn about social studies, but they will not learn about the great need for missionaries around the world. They will learn about current events and the news, but they will not be taught the “good news.”
This last paragraph is not intended to be critical of Mattawan Schools. Again, I commend Mattawan for the great job they do with what their role is meant to be, but as parents, we cannot delegate our role of character development in our children to the schools. If we desire for our children to grow up in Godliness, then it will fall on us.
And don’t think that just throwing them into a Sunday School at church is the answer. There is NO substitute for mom and dad when it comes to the moral development of a child. They are watching us, and they will imitate us. Whether or not we intentionally teach them, they are learning from us!