It’s been over a week now since my daughter had no classes. She did enjoy the few days of waking up later than usual and eating much slower than she did when she had class. I was worried, though, that she might just get used to it and it’ll be harder for me to wake her up early again. To add to that, she’d grown ‘wider’ than the last week because she wasn’t really doing anything but play and eat!
That got me to wondering if I was wrong in choosing the school she is in. Perhaps she needs to go to a school where the rules were more rigid and classes were more structured. I was raised by parents who valued education and going to classes and learning successfully from teachers who were efficient, capable and passionate in their profession. So I really thought that my kid needed to move to another institution that had more to offer.
I started to search in the internet on the possible ways to help my daughter. I even found myself reading articles online pertaining to parenting, in the hope that I could get some positive suggestions; and interestingly enough many of them encouraged trying therapy online. However, I came across an article about a journalist who visited Finland to learn about their educational system. That was when I discovered that the country’s schools were at the top of the list (I didn’t know that)! I was astounded by how much different their principles were from mine, and how successful they were with what they were doing since they started building schools. Their system is old yet strong and effective, and that moment I just wished I could afford to bring my daughter there.
Let me share what I learned about Finnish schools and how the ‘less or more’ principle put them at the top of the list.
Educational System in Finland
- Kids don’t start school until they are 7. Their system believes that children should have more years in the home together with their families, strengthening the foundation of the family and giving themselves time to play and learn the basics from parents, siblings and significant others. Additionally, they’ve established that 7 is the age where children start to enhance their focus and attention, thus the right age for learning in school.
- Schools do not spend time fighting over students and test scores. Most kids go to the public schools, where education is quality and of high standards. This is because the government is very supportive of their education system and offers sufficient salaries to the best teachers in the country. The achievement in one public school is the honor of all public schools.
- Students come to school at 9 in the morning and ends at 2 in the afternoon. The principle there is that students need enough time to sleep in order to fully develop and grow into intelligent students. Meanwhile, they are also giving the teachers enough time to relax and be prepared to conduct lessons eagerly and efficiently.
- Only a few teachers are accepted per school, but the standards are high. Annually, a large percentage of applicant teachers are not accepted because Finland believes that quality teaching is not acquired through studying but that it is innate, a gift that you have within you. And the longer their teachers stay in the schools, the better. They become the best at what they do.
- They give very little homework and encourage more interaction in the classroom. It is a proven fact that active learning which involves the interaction between the teachers and the students promotes better learning. Students understand faster when they listen and participate rather than forced to answer their homework on their own.
Those are only a few points that prove how Finland supports their teachers and students by giving them more freedom to learn outside of school as well as inside. Teachers are trusted to take care of the students and make certain choices on how to encourage students to learn and excel.
Truly, I find their system a very healthy and effective way to achieve quality education. The structure is simple yet it really works. It is the kind of system that I too believe in, and I do hope that soon it will be embraced and practiced in countries all over the world.