Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Here in the US, as reported in the Dec. 3 issue of Time Magazine, "Anxious parents are trying to give their kids and academic edge before they get to kindergarten." So they are paying small fortunes to tutor their toddlers. But this fad is counter productive according to most child development experts. Recent brain-imaging data shows that most children aren't ready to read until 5 at the earliest, and a recent study shows that graduates of academically intensive pre-schools are less creative than children graduating from regular play based pre-school programs. As stated by David Elkind author of The Harried Child, "Kids already learn what they need to know in a traditional learning-through-play program."

When it comes to child development, a wise parent knows the value of the saying, "Don't push the river." Or as we have been known to say in Arkansas, "You can't push a rope." Smart parents would choose instead to live lives that set an example of engagement and creativity, knowing their own children will accept the challenge and the encouragement they offer at the time it best matches their own natural development. But, hey. We are a nation of idiots, right?

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