My son loves to learn. So why did he cry going to school?

Today was the first day back at school for my kids. My daughter is going to grade four. My son to grade one. I expected lots of excitement. But my house was quiet at 6:30 this morning. Usually, the kids are up by 6:15. They get ready and battle over the bathroom. But not today. My daughter got up, got ready, and came down for breakfast. But not my son.

Soon, my wife opened his bedroom door to check on him. He was still lying in bed. But he wasn’t asleep. He had a smile on his face. He was pretending. His hope: If we thought he was still sleeping, he wouldn’t have to go to school. And thus began a morning of crying, clinging, and otherwise resisting. My wife even had to carry him partway to school.

Yet this weekend, he wanted to learn everything possible about trains. We took a train to Montreal, went to a train museum, watched train videos. By the end, he recited arcane train facts. He understood the logistics of running many trains on one track. He would have stayed at the museum all day.

It makes me wonder about our education system. I sometimes regret that my interest in science and technology wasn’t fostered at a young age. In elementary years , I attended, disrupted, and then got expelled from religious school. It wasn’t until my postgraduate degree that I could immerse myself in a subject of interest. (I did a masters in the history and philosophy of science and technology.)

I hope that my kids don’t have the same experience. I’ll do what I can as a dad to feed their passions. I hope the education system can too.

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