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?
What if there was a way for your children to be more motivated in their learning AND to take on more responsibility in achieving their learning goals? In our home, we have found a simple way to do just that. It may look like a page out of a typical school diary, but this … Continue reading What happens when kids take ownership of their learning?
This year, the arts industry has taken one of the biggest financial hits of any industry. And yet, we have arguably never needed it as much as we did this year. In a year filled with stress, longing, grief, frustration, confusion, sickness, loss, and more, my family has come to appreciate and depend on … Continue reading What art did for us in 2020