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Early Academic Training Produces Long-Term Harm

Stashed in: Awesome, education, Parents, Parenting, Education, FAIL

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It bugs me when parents whose kids aren't even reliably potty-trained are super proud of them "learning algebra" in kindergarten. This article points out the lasting harm of forcing kids to be early-achieving show ponies.

So instead of encouraging them to achieve we should encourage them to socialize?

Also ability to observe without labeling. E.g. kid looks at a duck and mom pipes "See, ducky!" Instead of "look how it's moving/eating" etc. - i.e. observing the properties instead of being told this is what it is.

That's good practice for all of us: observing without judging. 

This is telling:

"...they learned to plan their own activities, to play with others, and to negotiate differences may have developed lifelong patterns of personal responsibility and pro-social behavior..."

I guess pro-social behavior means never having to say you're sorry ... again and again and again...

If you click through to some of the research articles, the data is pretty amazing. Most kids CANNOT COPY A DIAMOND SHAPE until after age 6 (no wonder I sucked at making kites!). This has not changed in almost 100 years of testing and education. Pretty funny to hear your high-achieving friends tell you that their kids are learning algebra at age 6 when you're pretty sure they can't draw a diamond or write the word "algebra". Maybe it's possible for kids to learn all the higher-order skills without being able to, you know, write things by hand -- it's a computer world we live in, after all -- but there's apparently no evidence for that idea. Pretty sure the neural pathways for "thought" and "movement" are not that differentiated, especially in kids... which is why taking notes by hand is actually one of the most effective ways of remembering what you learned in a lecture, and why it's so hard to take a programming interview on a whiteboard instead of by typing code.

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