At freshman orientation my daughter and I were listening to the English Department head warn the incoming students that they would have to write 30 pages for freshman composition. Quietly, my daughter chuckled. “Why are you giggling?” I whispered. “Because, I am already writing 30 pages a week for Mrs. Myrick.”
It was then that I realized how prepared my child was for college. Enrolling our children in the International Baccalaureate Program was paying off. In fact all five of our children are either in or have completed I.B.
It is demanding, challenging and tough. Yet, it forces those who hang in there, to hammer their academic craft and gain important academic experience.
We are bullish on I.B. for several reasons:
First, I.B. offers students a rigorous academic environment not available in a most public school settings. In other words, youth receive a private school education in public school.
Second, our kids are competing for jobs globally. The old givens that American jobs will remain in the United States are gone. We need an educational regime equal to that challenge.
Third, American universities have become very expensive. The cost of college since 1978 has risen more than 1000 percent. That means each credit hour is precious and academic set backs are costly. Therefore, it is better to struggle in high school where mistakes are less costly.
I can’t say enough about the opportunity this program has provided my own children with the lifelong lessons of critical thinking, curiosity, collaboration and global-mindedness. A new buzzword today is “grit” – raising our children with resilience. There’s no question it’s a hidden component of IB, and one I know will benefit my children the rest of their lives.
Rev. William Parsons