Many of the moms I know, myself included, have listened to the Tiger Mom perspective with a raised eyebrow. In my role at the Children’s Museum, I’ve seen studies that suggest extreme emphasis on educational content mastery, especially at the preschool level and often to the exclusion of free play, can actually have a negative impact on future educational attainment.
When you see a child building a tower of blocks, chasing a friend around the yard, or two little girls playing “teacher” what comes to your mind? Is it that they are learning lifelong skills that will help them form into productive adults? Of course not, but that is what is happening. Through each adventure in play children are discovering new ideas and concepts. They are learning to listen to their friends and to compromise on activities. They are learning to exercise authority while learning at the same time what behaviors will not go over well.
Good parents always look for ways to give their children opportunities to excel in school and life. Unfortunately, salespeople can prey on that natural parental inclination by making claims that their products give children an educational advantage – with the implication that NOT buying these products will put children at a disadvantage. I was thrilled to see the Today Show take on one of those products last week.
Study Shows Recess Should be put back into the Swing of Things:
With all of the emphasis on testing it’s easy to forget a part of the school day that a recent study suggests is equally important …recess.
Author of the study and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Catherine Ramstetter, said that recess breaks as short as 10 minutes have shown to improve children’s learning efficiency during the rest of the school hour.
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