I remember sitting at the dinner table with my parents at 8 years old. During that season, the “no elbows on the table” rule was in full force. In addition, my mother constantly chided me for using slang as opposed to proper English. Those 3-4 years seemed like hell on earth, Nonetheless, years later, I could trace my success in school to my family dinner table and a few great teachers. My parents always said, “For a black man to do half as well, he must be twice as good!” For them, education was almost a “sacred privilege” which had been...
Home is where all education starts, whether it's good or bad. The column reminded me of a saying we had at our house: "Mabel, Mabel, if you're able, take your elbows off the table." Oh -- and we were not to read at the table. That was ignorant. Reading was important, however, and I was lucky enough to have parents who had high regard for school attendance, good conduct at school, and the best grades we could scramble. If these basics are not attended to at the very earliest possible time in a child's life, much is lost. Structure is important to children, even if they might not think so at the time. We played outside at every opportunity -- nobody had to tell us to go out and play an hour a day.
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