Tag: developmentally appropriate education

Quality, Not Kindergarten Redshirting, is the Problem

Quality, Not Kindergarten Redshirting, is the Problem
In my long career as an early childhood program director, I have given many talks to parents of children about to start kindergarten. While these parents were sometimes worried, over the past decade they became more anxious about how well their children would handle entry into a formal education system. Now, a proposed Illinois law... Read more »

Really Dumb Homework

Really Dumb Homework
Here’s an algebra assignment for a twelve-year-old. Go online to find a car to buy. Explain why you selected this car. Now research insurance for the car. Get several quotes for a student driver, including one with no accidents, one with a traffic ticket, and one who had an accident. Now, figure out what your... Read more »

E-Learning at Home and Why it’s a Fail

E-Learning at Home and Why it’s a Fail
My grandkids who live in another state had an e-learning day last week when their school was closed for staff in-service. I guess this counts as a learning day. It was also a trial for doing the same thing on snow closing days, thus avoiding having to make these days up at the end of... Read more »
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School Lunch and Recess Woes

Evanston, Illinois supports its public schools. Last spring, we even voted for a referendum to raise our property taxes so our school children would receive good educations. Is it unreasonable to expect our school district to make changes to how lunch and recess are managed so those children we treasure can be joyful, healthy, and... Read more »

Fidget Spinners: Addictive Stress Relief for Kids Who Need to Move

Fidget spinners have been banned by most schools, and rightfully so. If I were having a hard time staying focused, squeezing a koosh ball or chewing on a pencil might help. But watching a spinner and keeping it in motion would be a total distraction. These spinners are basically toys that delight all kids, but... Read more »

Back to School: Why a Seven-Year-Old Boy is Sad to Return

This is a journey into the mind of my seven-year-old grandson who is interested in many things. Just not what he’s learning in school. In fact, when I asked him if he was looking forward to starting second grade next week, his response was a resounding NO. School is so boring, he claims. My husband... Read more »
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My Community Still Struggles to Close the Achievement Gap and Educate All of its Children

I adore Evanston. I’ve lived here for over 40 years. My kids received great educations in the public schools. Back in the day, I was an active school volunteer and even served on a couple of school district committees. And I was founding director of Cherry Preschool, located in the heart of Evanston. So I was... Read more »

Why Some School Kids Can’t Compete in Fitness Week

My granddaughter came home last Monday with a Fitness Week worksheet from her gym teacher. It proclaimed each child should get 60 minutes of exercise a day. The kids were asked to chart this for a week, and those who accomplished the goal would get a reward.  Here’s how this daily total could be accomplished:... Read more »

Scientific Proof That Kids Need Recess

At her elementary school science fair, my granddaughter explained her poster and experiment with the great fervor an almost ten-year-old can muster. She and her friend, who is in California on a family sabbatical, decided to prove once and for all that recess improves learning, or at least puts students in a receptive mood so... Read more »
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Learning Through Play: Another Visit to Cherry Preschool

I walked into a classroom at Cherry Preschool in Evanston, Illinois to check out the recent activities and get my fix of watching preschoolers doing what they do best – learning through play. A brief disclaimer: This is the school I founded and directed until my retirement, so it is definitely my happy place. The... Read more »