Friday, December 7, 2012

Is School Learning Valuable Enough for the Time Our Kids Invest?

I heard screams coming from outside so I saunter out onto the porch just in time to see my youngest daughter Quinci flying down the hill on a bicycle. She and her older sister Aidan have been "riding" for a few days. By riding I mean they push their bikes up the hill and coast down it. Quinci is getting ready for the new bike she asked Santa for Christmas. Aidan is helping her learn how to ride.

Later Quinci comes to me with a Sharon Creech book in her hand. She asks me when she will be "allowed" to read it. I was a bit taken aback, I didn't realize that kids had to ask permission to read books (especially my kids in my home). I told her she can read anything she wants to and she is now sitting next to me reading The Unfinished Angel.

What do we teach kids at school that is worth 7-8 hours a day that they can't learn on their own? If a seven year old and a ten year old can teach each other to ride a bike, what do they need a teacher for? How much school time is used to teach things only good for the community of school? Why did Quinci think she needed permission to read a longer chapter book than she was used to? These are the questions that make me wonder about what I am doing at school with my students.

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