Best Conversation Starters for the Week

My goodness. You won’t believe the things being discussed by students at Acton Academy this week. There is no shortage of great conversation starters for your dinner table tonight.

I wanted to give you some starters so you can engage with your child in ways beyond, “How was your day?” What was your biggest challenge?” and “What did you learn?” I do like those questions, by the way. And, I do not think every conversation has to be deep and intellectual. Some of the bizarre digressions our well-intentioned dinner conversations take are also some of the most memorable moments around our table. Laughter is part of our equation as is the reality that sometimes we end our discussions with, “Guys, that is taking things too far. I wish I hadn’t started this.”

It’s only Wednesday and here are some things the Eagles have been discussing:

1)      The United States ranked 14th in the world in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math in a recent study. An idea that has been gaining traction is mandating that the American public school year be year-round or that the school days should be longer. Do you think this would make us more globally competitive? Do the rankings even matter? What should schools do to make sure young people have the skills and knowledge they need to compete for jobs in the future? Does the government have the right to tell private schools what to do?

2)      If you were going to give the commencement speech this weekend, what would you tell the graduates? Would you advise them to join the workforce right away?

3)      An attorney in Galveston is suing the Texas Land Office because they are telling her that she has to vacate her home. Hurricane Ike in 2008 eroded the public beach line up to her property line. In order to maintain public beaches, the land office told her that the government was going to seize her property. She took it all the way to the Texas Supreme Court where they stated that Texas has no right to take her property, citing her 4th amendment rights. For reasons unknown, they then sent the case back to the Circuit Court for further review. Is it fair to make her leave her house to make sure Texas has public beaches? If erosion can eventually lead to a safety issue, is it the responsibility of the government to make sure she leaves or should she be responsible for her safety? Our last question which we didn’t get to explore as much as we would have liked: Court costs are quite high. Let’s say that by the end of this she has racked up $50,000 in fees. If she is proven right, should she be responsible for covering those charges or should the State pay her back? We discussed that if the State does reimburse her that it would come from tax dollars (their money).

Thank you Aubrie, for your insightful choice of articles to read and for your excellent guidance of discussions.

4)      What three adjectives describe you best? Here is a twist on that one that the students did not discuss but might be fun for your family: What three adjectives would your friends use to describe you? (Compare with your self-description.)

Have fun and please let me know if these conversation appetizers help feed your conversations. Bon Appétit.