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Baby, You Can Drive My Car

Hello, TEG Parents and Families

Whether you have already done it or are nervously anticipating it, every parent must teach his or her child how to drive a car. Lucky for me, all four of my kids wanted to learn, motivated by the independence driving a car would give them. I remember beginning by demonstrating the essentials and why each was important—buckling up, starting the car, adjusting mirrors, slowing down for a turn, even how to parallel park.

At some point, I had to let each of them get behind the wheel, at first in parking lots or quiet neighborhoods but eventually on the freeway, with all the speed and risk that entails. I recall how nervous I was the first time I let my oldest son take the on-ramp to an eight-lane Houston freeway. I was worried he didn’t have the experience to navigate such a fast-changing environment or the knowledge to react appropriately in the heat of the moment. But I realized the only way for him to achieve such learning was to do it—to get behind the wheel and drive.

When we think about empowering our kids to become self-directed learners, we have some of the same concerns. How will my child have the experience and knowledge to direct their own learning? We’ve been taught we should just send our kids to places called “schools” and hope that experienced professional educators will make learning happen. But most schools aren’t designed to produce self-directed, independent, life-long learners. Instead they teach content, then test and grade on the ability to memorize that content. They favor passive learners who follow instructions and are good test-takers, and they claim good test scores demonstrate the school’s success. Imagine if schools taught our kids how to drive? They would test them on the parts and the rules of the road, but no kid would ever see the inside of a car, much less drive one. 

Self-directed, independent, life-long learners are focused on four key areas of learning: reading, communication (both written and spoken), problem-solving (mathematical, scientific, and historical), and character. And for each of these areas, every kid needs to know the essentials of how to “drive” their own learning activities and self empowerment—how to define what they want to learn, plan how they will learn it, execute their learning activities, and evaluate whether they have learned it. 

At The Education Game, we not only help you and your kid make a plan for these four areas of learning, but we help give you the tools you need as a parent to coach your kid through the process of defining, planning, executing and evaluating. As intimidating as it may seem, at some point you have to put them behind the wheel of their own learning and lives. 

We’ll show you how to ride along as a supportive, friendly challenger and cheerleader. Your child will definitely make some wrong turns, but you and your support team of grandparents, neighbors and family friends will be there to help him or her reroute and get back on the road to becoming a self-directed, independent, and life-long learner. Trust me, when you see your child begin to chart and follow their own route with skill and confidence, you will know they’re becoming ready for life’s fast-paced, unpredictable environment. 

At The Education Game, we’ve launched The Promise and The Plan, a pilot program designed to help you put your child behind the wheel of their own life-long learning. With The Promise and The Plan, you will help your child become a master reader, a top-notch communicator, an awesome problem solver, and a person of unsurpassed character. Together, we’ll show you how to help them define, plan, execute and evaluate what they need to learn in each of these areas. It’s the most important driving they will ever do.

To learn more and to join our pilot, visit The Promise and The Plan on our website. 

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A New Community for Parents

We coach parents who want future-ready children. We help families strategize beyond the traditional school experience in whatever way makes sense for you and your child. We teach you how to build and execute Learning Plans that fill the gaps in your child’s education. 

The future will require curious learners who are able to operate with a high degree of agency and autonomy. If you child is not excited about what they are learning, then take the first step and connect with a New Community.

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