William Butler Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” And yet there seems to be a push to fill children’s pails as quickly as possible with complex academics at earlier ages. Oddly enough there is little to no scientific studies supporting this approach. In fact, research indicates that accelerating intellectual development, or trying to, is counterproductive.
So what’s a parent to do?
A new book by a professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Stephen Camarata, discusses how parents can address the trend of too much too soon and protect their children from potential stress, learning disability diagnoses and lost depth in learning opportunities.
The Intuitive Parent: Why the Best Thing for Your Child Is You discusses the two primary educational challenges facing parents today and gives tips on how to combat the corresponding difficulties:
Issue 1) “an increasingly irrational, accelerated curriculum that pressures children to learn material— and parents to teach it—long before their developing minds are ready”
Issue 2) “a one-size-fits-all assembly-line process based on age level rather than ability level.”