Recently, I have seen two headlines that caught my eye. First, the Washington Post ran a story entitled Seven Myths About What it Takes to Raise Successful Adults wherein the author works to debunk commonly held perceptions of what it takes to equip children for success. Section titles within the article include: Success in School Predicts Success in Life, Pursuing a Passion Won’t Earn a Living, Kids Whose Parents Help Them Will Turn-out Better, It’s Easy to Tell Which Young Kids Will Become Leaders, Children Should Grow-up Without Adversity, and Birth Order is Important. However, each title is not an argument for the behavior it identifies, but rather an indictment of it.
Second, the New York Times ran a letter to the editor on August 17 that was simply entitled We Have Ruined Childhood. In the letter, the author details the breakdown of childhood norms from previous generations (less unstructured outdoor play, family time, community focus on child-rearing, and more independence, regimented schedules, faster-paced learning, and stress). As you might guess, it is not a hopeful piece, nor is it kind to modern practices in child-rearing.
Both the article and letter to the editor, as well as much of what you see in current educational, sociological, and popular literature these days, focused on how to redeem childhood from our more recent efforts to accelerate it in the name of achievement. Is the key less screen time, less homework, more time outdoors, more time with family? Do students need less focus on academic content and more time developing social skills? Are we creating long-term effects for our over-scheduled students and children? These are all questions worth asking, and recently many families, teachers, administrators, and politicians are looking for answers regarding what our children need to be successful adults while also preserving the formative stage of life that we call childhood.
For those who are looking for the right school fit in Charlotte, I believe we have found a solution at The Oaks. Everything we do is based on what is developmentally best for students from a holistic approach that addresses mind, body, and spirit. We do not assign homework to students in lower grades, and it is given only 1x/week in upper grades. Our year-round schedule and unique active, instructional approach enable us to develop excellent learners in an environment that allows children to play, embrace their imaginations, develop social as well as problem solving skills, and to develop persistence in an environment that incorporates God’s truth in all areas. We provide significant outdoor activity, hands-on and engaging instruction, enrichment and service-learning curricula, and much more. We are teaching kids in the ways they were designed to learn, and we’re building skills at an early age that will prepare them for a lifetime of confidence and competence. Give us a call; we love to share our program.
All my best,