Friends Don’t Let Friends Use Textbooks

Sorry, I couldn’t resist! Today we’ll talk about friends, but I wanted to get in a plug for the evolving nature of education first. Textbooks are an antiquated idea from a past century- a time when information was scarce and it was essential to cram as many facts into a student’s head as possible; enough to last a lifetime.

Today, in the information age, we all stumble over facts, formulas and numbers daily. Information is as readily available as a glass of ice in a hailstorm. It literally rains down on our heads in massive quantities and is available from our laptops, netbooks, Iphones, Blackberries, cable television and satellite radio. The textbook era went out with the rotary dial telephone.

What we need today is the wisdom to wade through the blizzard of information and make sense of it all. Five in a Row teaches students to connect dots, to see trends and patterns, to develop better communications skills and to look beyond the obvious as they explore each book and topic. Congratulations to you if your only textbook is for math- a skill subject which still offers some logical use for a textbook.

Now- let’s talk about friends. I want you to carefully read through this paragraph from Wikipedia with your children: Friendship is co-operative and supportive behavior between two or more people. In this sense, the term connotes a relationship which involves mutual knowledge, esteem, and affection, and respect along with a degree of rendering service to friends in times of need or crisis. Friends will welcome each other’s company and exhibit loyalty towards each other, often to the point of altruism… They will also engage in mutually helping behavior, such as exchange of advice and the sharing of hardship.

What words pop out at you or your child? I see the words co-operative, supportive, esteem, affection, respect, service, loyalty, altruism, sharing. Does your child know the word altruism? It means choosing to put someone else’s interests above your own.

Have your children make a list of several of their best friends. Hopefully one or more of their siblings might be on that list. Now talk with them through each of those words and see if they can think of an example where they have been supportive, respectful, loyal, etc. Discuss ways to be a friend. Ask your children why it’s important to have a friend. Sociologists tell us just within the past 25 years most Americans have gone from having four close friends, to only two. And one in four people surveyed said they had NO close friends at all.

Share one or more examples of friendship in your own life; times you served a good friend in a special way, or ways in which a dear friend has been a blessing to you. Have each child think of at least one thing they can do to bless a friend this week.

Read 1 Sam. 18 as the story of Jonathan and David’s friendship unfolds.

Proverbs 16:28

Proverbs 17:17

John 15:14


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    “Textbooks are an antiquated idea from a past century…” and “Information is as readily available as ice in a hailstorm.” Spot on, Steve – thanks for saying it so well!

  2. 2

    Debbie said,

    What a great post! Love it!

  3. 3

    Jill Spicer said,

    Beautiful and timely for our family, Steve! I will be saving and printing your wise words…

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