A Conversation With My Oldest Child

A beautifully written and very thoughtful post on early education and the value of unstructured free play for our early learners. I wrote about this topic recently. I am very concerned with the direction of education, but with the earliest years of school in particular. A time of celebration and memory-making is being replaced with a push for supposed higher standards, all at the expense of our children. It affects our children at school, and as the author of this post explains, it affects our children even after they’ve arrived home. How much is too much?

Daniel Katz, Ph.D.

The older of our two children initiated this conversation with me last week.  As a follow up to Father’s Day, it seemed appropriate:

“I never really understood the purpose of homework.”

“Well, sweetie, some people think that it helps you practice what you’ve learned.”

“Well, why can’t we practice in school?”

“Some people think it helps you remember better if you do it at home.”

“That’s so not true.”

“Maybe, but it is true that when you are older you will have to do some things on your own in order to be ready for school and the next lessons.”

“So why can’t we wait until high school?”

“Some people think that’s when homework should begin. I think it probably makes sense to wait until at least 5th grade.”

“Yeah. You should tell Ms. H*** that.”

“I think I should probably let your principal do her job herself.”

I have…

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