The world is my classroom

Never stop learning - Slightly Off Kilter This past week has been a whirlwind as I time-travelled back to 7th grade as my eldest struggled with the idea that 8th grade may be more than just a summer away…

Good news is that everything (for now) is ok and by this time next week we should be DONE with the 7th grade (don’t jinx me y’all)

As a parent, and a forever-student, I’m torn… I know that school IS important.  I was raised by a teacher… I have friends that are teachers… I have MAD Respect for teachers.

… but then… there’s this part of me that sometimes wants to scream “Just learn enough to pass the damn test because you will NEVER use long division in real life because that’s what calculators are for!” And I consider myself very restrained for NOT saying that as the eldest and I labor over his algebra homework – showing all the work of course.

Today’s prompt for the Blog every day in May challenge was “things you’ve learned that school won’t teach you” … It made me wonder why we are so focused on “teaching to the test” instead of giving our kids a REAL understanding of the skills they will need to get ahead.  Of course… I guess it kinda falls on me to teach these skills… you know… part of that whole “parenting” thing I kinda signed up for when I birthed me some babies…

(1) Life isn’t fair – Not everyone gets a medal.

(2) Treat EVERYONE the way YOU want to be treated.  You never know when the Janitor is going to be your boss.  Plus?  In the REAL world, it’s not always what you know… more often than you might realize, people get ahead because they are liked.

(3) Your parents, teachers, and others who happen to have been born long before you REALLY DO know what they are talking about.

(4) You won’t believe them of course and will have to learn on your own

(5) Treasure your friends.  If you treat them well (see #2) they will stick by you long after your boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/wife has bailed.  And will make you laugh when you want to cry and probably have shovels… you know for “gardening”.

(6) When people want to leave your world – let them.  TRUST ME ON THIS. Never compromise your feelings, beliefs, or values to hang on to a friend… beau… spouse.  It’s not worth it.

(7) Going to the party where everyone ELSE is drunk and you are watching them in a sober state is HILARIOUS.  Plus, you’ll be able to remember all the dumb crap everyone else did.

(8) Reading IS fun – if you find the genre that most interests you.  You will come across a time when curling up with a good book on a rainy day sounds like a great idea…

(9) How to truly be a parent.  Yeah – where’s THAT freakin textbook?  Kind of an important lesson dontcha’ think?

(10) How to take responsibility for your actions.  Guess what?  Back to being a victim (kinda a theme on my blog…) When you make a mistake – own it.  Learn from it.  GROW from it.  Move on.

(11) Change isn’t a bad thing.  Embrace it and trust that all will turn out as it should in the end.

(12) Seeing your High school nemesis in the SAME EXACT PROM DRESS as you is NOT in fact – the end of the world.  Perspective is important for really dealing with major hiccups in your path.  Take a breath.  Step back from the situation. seek the perspective of a non-emotionally invested person you trust and THEN evaluate.

(13) Your BFF is NEVER a non-emotionally invested person you trust.  Seek his/her advice when validation is wanted.

(14) Persistence and a solid work ethic will get you farther in life than being able to throw the game winning touchdown pass.

(15) Dance often.  With others.  Alone.  Whatever.  Even if you are no good.  ESPECIALLY if you are no good.

(16) Create.  Paint, draw, sculpt, bake, cook, build, fix.  Create.

(17) What other people think of you is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.  You can’t control their thoughts anyway.

(18) Say Yes.  Say No.  Learn when each is appropriate… and beware of emotional vampires who will try to take advantage.

(19) Choose your battles.  It takes 2 to fight and you never HAVE to participate.

(20) It is perfectly acceptable to wear white after Labor day.  But own a mirror and look in it before you leave the house.


What have you learned that the schools didn’t teach you?  Share with us!




  1. Jacqueline Thurrell says

    hey, I hope ‘you’re’ get to pass that 7th grade 🙂

  2. I dance by myself all the time, but I’m like a REALLY good dancer. Good advice, Shelley!

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