In “The Matrix,” the main character, Neo, learns how to fight in the style of Kung Fu in a matter of seconds after it’s downloaded to his brain. Too often, it seems parents consider that scene to be more fact than fiction.

With students already heading back to classes over the next week and a half, beach towels are being traded in for backpacks and the dreaded word “homework” will rear its head again.

But there are too many parents who treat this return to schools more as a free day care service where students are watched and fed rather than as part of an education that centers around the home.

Brazoria County residents are blessed to have several great and forward-thinking school districts where students have opportunities presented to them. Not every area can be so lucky as to have the options present here.

But teachers present students with the tools to become educated, and it is up to the student to learn. That initiative to learn starts with the parents.

Dropping off a student on the way to work doesn’t make for an educated child. That takes discipline, hard work and enthusiasm on the child’s part. While effective teachers can inspire those children, it is wasted if they return to a home where education is disregarded and treated as an afterthought.

A good education doesn’t just mean acing exams and getting into Harvard. It means knowing enough math to not be taken advantage of, or understanding enough politics to grasp what a senator does and who deserves a vote.

Teachers already have countless expectations laid on them by the state and their districts. Parents neglecting to teach their children the importance of learning — not to mention discipline and respect — and simply dropping their children off, hoping the pieces of a good education will just fall into place not only inhibits their child from getting a quality education, but their classmates from doing the same.

Unlike in “The Matrix,” students can’t yet download knowledge. It takes a good upbringing and continued parenting to get those lessons across. Before a student learns, first they must want to pick up the book.

That part is dependent on the parent.

This editorial was written by Alec Woolsey, assistant managing editor of The Facts.

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