A whole new chapter and a lot of Big Change

It feels like change is in the air this week, with my maternity leave drawing to a close and Etta and Artie getting ready to start ‘big’ school in September!

I’m excited (and a little nervous!) to get back to the office and it seems Etta and Artie feel the same about starting Reception. Like most parents sending their little ones off to school for the first time, I'm starting to feel quite emotional and nostalgic about this next chapter.

I really hope that Etta and Artie find a love of school like I did. However, I’m all too aware for many children this is not the case.

Times like these really heighten my desire to push for education reform. At Big Change, we continue to work with experts and frontline educators to reimagine the entire learning ecosystem. 

For all of the parents and carers watching their excited four-year-olds trying on their squeaky clean school shoes and slightly oversized uniforms for the first time, the concern for their child's future looms large.

Etta and Artie nursery graduation

According to the 2017 Sturgeons Parent Survey, 46 per cent of parents are worried that their children are unhappy.

This is concerning to hear and I think it’s important to ask ourselves – are we inspiring and encouraging our children to be truly happy while learning and exploring what they are passionate about?  

As Simon Sinek put it at a Big Change event recently: “There’s no such thing as winning education.”

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Simon left me feeling really inspired and eager to hear what others had to say on the matter so I posed the following question on Twitter.

I received some brilliant responses, which highlighted just how much influence we have as parents when it comes to education. Here are some of my favourite responses below:

  • "My most valuable education came from working alongside my parents and siblings in our family business. I didn't always appreciate those lessons until after completing college and joining the corporate workforce."
  • "Learning is a lifetime 'joy', so why cram so much into the younger years when kids should be having more fun, learning to create, being well & happy? The mental health of the adult world would improve dramatically!"
  • "Children see life far more clearly than adults. We underestimate them enormously and mould them into how we feel they should be. What if we gave them space to learn, explore and nurture their spiritual selves in an environment that gives them freedom of choice?"

Building a sense of excitement and hunger in our children when it comes to learning starts with us and, as we say at Big Change, education is everyone’s business.

I’m really excited to see what is in store when it comes to education reform and for this next chapter for our family - and all of the children starting school next month - to begin.

If you want to join the discussion or learn more about what we can do as parents to reimagine education, check out Big Change’s Reimagining Education Together report. It's full of great examples and ideas for education reform from educators all around the world!

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