This is an op-ed about a new book called Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do). There is a blog too. I am reading this more as an educator rather than a parent.
I am concerned when I walk into a classroom and kids don’t really know how to think for themselves. They can repeat everything they’ve been taught by the principal or their parents, but they can’t create an original thought.
And they don’t know how to work together. Compromise, listening, contributing are all very difficult for them. All of school time is programmed so they will be prepared to pass NCLB tests and afterschool time is spent rushing from activity to homework to dinner to bed or to TV to TV to dinner to TV to bed.
I was at the grocery store with the skiddoos one day and they asked to get something in the frozen dessert aisle. I said yes, but they could only get one thing and they had to agree. An older couple was walking by around this time and laughed out loud at me and the man said “Good luck with that. ha!” And in about the time, the kids had chosen a box of popsicles (Scribblers, their favorite – “look, we can scribble on you, Vicki!”) and were carrying it together and giggling together. I was very proud.
I’m concerned about the future. But I think the kids in our house will be ok.