Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review Time

By now the routine is down! The alarm clock goes off, breakfast is fixed, backpacks are loaded (“Has anyone seen my math homework?” “I can’t find my history book!”) At last the car is loaded and another day of school is off and running.

Even in classes there has been a routine. Roll is called so the teacher can learn all the names; all the extra-curricular activities are getting underway; there has even been a pep rally! And of course the teachers have spent the last few weeks reminding students of all the things they learned last year but somehow misplaced during summer vacation.

I remember those day sitting in class (for me it was always a math class) when the teacher (or professor) would say, “You learned this last year, so let’s review quickly…” And before I could figure out what he was saying, and discover that not only did I not remember the information I didn’t even remember learning it in the first place—we had moved on to something new!
And I wonder why I am not a nuclear physicist!

Teachers understand that we need to review the information! Students need to hear again the things we taught them last year—even if they know it, because it still serves as the base for everything that is going to happen this year. We know that!

Except when it comes to talking with our children about sex.  I mean, after all, didn’t his father talk to him last year when they went to the football game? They had “The Talk!” Didn’t her mother tell her about all that stuff. Our daughter doesn’t need to be reminded. We told her.

As adults we often forget that sexuality isn’t “The Talk,” but an ongoing conversation. The Middle Schooler who dared ask a question about plumbing now needs to have a conversation about values, and decision-making. That girl who thought boys were yucky in Elementary school is now getting calls from High School Seniors and is really flattered by it, but still can’t quite figure out what is going on.

Even though they act like they know it all (and didn’t we???) they are just as terrified and confused as I was when our calculus professor started talking about Max-Min problems. (I still don’t know what he was talking about!) But he took the time to review—and I remember that!

As parents, maybe this is the time for us to do a review as well. Use the teacher line, “I know you already know this and we have talked about this before, but…” Your kids will roll their eyes, say, “Oh Dad I know that!”

But they will be grateful. Because they really don’t know where their prostate gland is or how to tell that senior that they are just not comfortable with what he is asking. All their other teachers are reviewing. Maybe we as their most important teachers, their parents, need to do some reviewing as well!

by: Don Flowers, Former Board Chair and Pastor of Providence Baptist Church
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