How do you feel about the need in parents to drill & skill their children at home with worksheets/books?
I don’t judge the people who do, but for young children especially, I really just don’t think it is necessary. I can’t imagine there’s a worksheet out there so good that it could ever replace a real experience. Your child can learn letters, numbers, shapes and colors in the environment all around him. He can learn to read by looking at books and being read to. He can learn numeracy by grouping and counting buttons and beads. He can learn geometry through building with blocks and spatial perception through puzzles and games. Besides being unnecessary, it’s boring and I don’t believe in making learning boring for convenience or efficiency.
I want my children to grow up smart; but I also want them to be well rounded, well-read, engaged, active, thoughtful and interested in learning new things, and I just don’t think workbooks and drills will get them there. From the ever-expanding section of workbooks at Barnes & Noble, I realize many will disagree with me, and that’s O.K.
We’re interested in hearing your thoughts/views on this. As always, feel free to comment below.
I agree! Our daughter (now 8yrs old) has always been a keen learner and she was always very excited about going to school. Then last year (grade 2) she had a teacher that was very strict and pushed the kids really hard. It had a huge impact on our daughter. She started to get anxious about doing her work perfectly, her once love of math disappeared because they were doing timed math drills and she didn’t do well with the one minute time crunch. She was spending an hour a day doing homework and more if something wasn’t completed on time at school.
Half way through the year we decided no more! We waited that long to see if maybe things would get better but it didn’t. It was so difficult to see Hannah quickly dissolve into tears for little things and to worry about doing her work perfectly. So we had a meeting with the teacher and we started just having learning walks, doing math when shopping for groceries, taking turns spinning the globe then going online to learn about the place…we made learning fun again and she love it! We’d take concepts that they were learning in school and found ways to bring them to life for her.
I think learning is fun…as adults we can sometimes forget that. I know that when it comes to getting kids excited and interested in something we need to keep it as fun as possible! Same can be said for us adults too 😉 When we are fully engaged into learning about something we love it doesn’t feel boring or like hard work!
Kia, I think you handled that stressful situation in the best way possible. It’s important as parents to stand back and let our kids try to work through new challenges as they get older, but there absolutely comes a time when we have to step in and say, “no more!” and advocate for them when they are being dragged down. For the majority of us who lie somewhere between the “Tiger Mom” and “un-schooling” extreme philosophies we have the benefit of being able to make decisions based on knowing our children and respecting how they learn best.
Of course not everything about school and learning can be fun (remember my times table post?) but the only reason I can think of to force 7 year olds to do timed math drills is to prep them for standardized tests. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water! But alas, that is a whole other post!
Thanks for your comment Laura! Yes I totally agree that we parents walk a fine line between letting our kids experience difficulties and stepping in when it goes too far!
Agreed that not everything can be fun but like Mary Poppins said “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and – SNAP – the job’s a game!” so as much as possible it’s great to FIND the fun 🙂