Like most parents, you are probably thinking that a decent school with high standards of teaching is enough to ensure the proper education for your child. This is not true. A good school may and most likely will provide your child sufficient “academic” knowledge, but education is not limited to subjects like history, language, math and the sciences alone. There is more to education than the ability to summarize the life of Julius Caesar, explain the symbolisms used by Shakespeare, calculate limits at infinity, and recite the names of all the constellations of the night sky. In fact, a background on these things is important but in the end, you and I both know that your child will not survive the real world if these were all he knows. Even if schools teach values education subjects, knowing what is “ideal” is not enough when he finally comes across what is “real”.

Learning achieved in school is not enough once your child’s out there in the real world. What one reads in books, no matter how much your child has memorized them, will not help him if he has not been there firsthand. Real education is achieved through experience. Life requires that a person learns and understands certain things—things that cannot be learned inside a classroom. One must experience something in order to understand it. Likewise, the education for your child if he is to become prepared for adulthood, must involve being exposed to what really happens once you are an adult.

The best real examples from whom he can learn are of course, his parents and immediate family, and the community. A child must observe, learn and understand how adults function in order to survive, how one should balance time and handle money responsibly, and how one should act and speak if somebody lost a loved one. He must also experience failure, so that he would know how to stand up if he fails again. He must know and experience how to apologize, express gratitude, forgive, solve problems, and make decisions. He must know how one should behave in parties, how spouses should give and take, how to raise a child well, and how to respect the opinions of other people. These are some examples of the things that make up the real education for your child.

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