A traditional education In high school I trudged through two years of physics and one year of chemistry. I had no real interest in either of these subjects but, at the time, that detail seemed irrelevant. I was told these courses would "look good" on my university transcript. I was told that they would raise … Continue reading An education devoid of connection is one devoid of purpose.
Perhaps it was because we had just experienced the festivities of the half-marathon in our town, but after reading the Tortoise and the Hare for what seemed like the millionth time, its moral seemed to fall a little flat. Since when does “slow and steady” ever actually win the race? Theoretically, I understand that … Continue reading We all know that “slow and steady” wins the race. (But does the winning really matter?)
Britain's youngest Olympic medalist, skateboarder Sky Brown, also happens to be an autodidact. "I just learn tricks off YouTube," said Brown in 2019. Her father concurred by adding, "Her friends are all [at the skate park] so it's more like just playing with them. It's not serious. It's not 'going to training'." No coach, just … Continue reading Is it really that hard to teach yourself?
Education is a big deal for me. Not the institution, but the actual learning. I LOVE to learn. About everything. Mostly about how to learn. Having graduated with a degree in Elementary Education, I was convinced that a "good education" was the answer to all of society’s problems, and I was about to inspire hundreds of children to go … Continue reading When a teacher admits, “I didn’t sign up for this”.
Perhaps you are sold on the fact that free play is important for small children, but once they reach a certain age, shouldn’t kids be getting down to the business of actual learning? Here’s an example of how the concept of play, or self-directed learning, might...um...play out in the lives of our older children. … Continue reading Does Star Wars Count as Learning?
It turns out that all work and no play could affect your child's chances of landing the job of his dreams. In her book, Prepared, Diane Tavener observes that in “the 1950s, the top skills employers wanted were: 1) The ability to work rapidly and for long periods of time, 2) Memory for details and directions, … Continue reading How “play” increases the hire-ability of your children.
In a previous post, we looked at how the fear of what might happen keeps our children from experiencing the world to its fullest right now. The flip side to the coin of fear is the fear of what might not happen to our children in the future. We live in a society that is … Continue reading How to Raise an Adult (And how not to)
There are many things that my children and I have missed over the past year: visiting with friends and family, going into London to catch all the latest exhibitions, eating out without feeling self-conscious about the size of my family, but a great paradox of the pandemic was when we realized that we had been … Continue reading Free to Play, Free to Learn
"How old is she, again?” I asked. "She just turned 3.” I watched as she kept climbing until she neared the thinner branches toward the top of the tree. Her mother was standing beside me, looking only a little concerned, so I tried to make my face look as calm as hers. What was … Continue reading Free-range kids: Do they still exist?
In 2020, we faced the reality that bias and discrimination still exist in our society, but thankfully it was also a year of calling out injustices. Hopefully, it will be a practice that continues for generations to come. The irony is that, in an age where we know the harm that is caused by treating … Continue reading “Gifted”, “behind”, or “just average”: Which one were you?