Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » CHILDHOOD ENDS AT FOUR

    Filed at 5:52 am under by dcobranchi

    Susan Ohanian has a column up on really early education– tutoring for pre-schoolers. It’s really sad and frustrating that so many parents have bought into “drill and kill” for two-year-olds.

    [M]ost researchers maintain that preschoolers aren’t learning enough. About 70% of 4-year-olds are in group care, says Donna Bryant, a University of North Carolina child-development expert. “It’s a wasted opportunity not to” teach them, she adds.

    Yeah– have to take advantage of any chance to indoctrinate cram “knowledge” into their little heads.

    “I feel we read all the time, but whatever I was doing at home wasn’t working,” says Ms. Barnes, who enrolled Hank for two reading lessons a week. Hank fell off his adult-size chair during an early lesson, she says… Ms. Barnes, who is paying $4,000 for 10 months of tutoring, says that after six months, Hank is kindergarten-ready. “We’re being proactive,” she adds. “I don’t want my child to be the one who always struggles.”

    Hanks was behind in his scissor skills. Seriously. And after six months and $4,000 he’s ready to cut construction paper.

    Almost all researchers are critical of lessons that require children to sit at desks, complete worksheets or memorize words. They say hands-on learning and learning through play are the way to go — for example, play-acting stories, singing rhymes, assembling puzzles.

    Sylvan insists it does that. “We don’t want to supplant childhood,” which is why the company doesn’t accept 3-year-olds, says Richard Bavaria, Sylvan’s chief academic officer.

    Really, really sad how childhood has disappeared for almost everyone but future HEKs. But of all the quotes in the piece, this is my favorite:

    Sylvan says its students typically make a year’s academic progress in 36 of its one-hour lessons.

    Wow! A year’s progress in only 36 once-a-week lessons.

    Tip credit: Jeanne

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