26 January 2011

The Educated Child

I came upon this in my notebooks and it started me thinking. These are the main "talking points" of the book:

  1. Parents are the child's first and most important teachers. Regardless of where they are being educated, I might add. If they are not educated at home, this does not let us off the hook.
  2. Teaching mustn't stop when school starts. It's a lifelong pursuit, best modeled by parents who are inquisitive as well.
  3. Early years build the foundation for all later learning. But this doesn't mean you can't get there later...too much, too soon kills a child's desire to learn. Let them lead in the early years. Follow their curiosity and always listen!
  4. American schools are underperforming.
  5. Learning requires discipline; discipline requires values. Don't be afraid to actively teach your child values, but I've discovered that they will learn what they see faster than what they hear. Why does that have to be so stinking hard to remember?
  6. Follow common sense.  
  7. Content matters. No arguments with this statement, but I don’t think I agree with his definition of content (core based curriculum). If values are so important, perhaps we should be focusing on that aspect of learning rather than “teaching to the test.” And we desperately need to teach our children to be discerning, thinking, responsible, etc.
  8. TV is the enemy of good education. TV is the enemy of brain waves, which is not to say that I don't enjoy the temporary flat-line now and then myself.
  9. Education reform is possible. Are we, as a country, willing to pay the cost of change? It won't come easily.
  10. Aim high. Expect much, get much. Just don't frustrate exasperate them. That leads to bad things.

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