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Do you think we Americans push our children to hard at school?

I was listening to the radio and the host was talking about how children in other countries dont start school until seven years old and they have a way higher testing and IQ average... There was also another where the kids start kindergarten but its only to play they dont get academics added until the 2nd grade. They also have higher testing and IQ's... What do you think? Are our children being pushed into academic learning to soon?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:28 PM on Dec. 19, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Answers (71)
  • You cannot compare US academics to other countries. Other countries kick kids out of school after a certain age if they aren't smart enough, while US schools expect everyone to stay until graduation. As a result, scores from other countries skew higher because they conveniently exclude everyone below a certain intelligence level. AKA fudging the data.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:34 PM on Dec. 19, 2009

  • I don't think we're pushing too hard, but in some areas I don't think we're pushing enough. We need more creative and artistic learning for our children in schools. At 5, the age most children begin kindergarten, they have a natural sense of wonder and a curiosity that should be used to its full potential in order to instill a love of learning itself, rather than making education seem more like a chore.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 12:34 PM on Dec. 19, 2009

  • I say yes too soon, but then they are not pushed enough. Compared to other countries our kids are lazy. They pass them even if they fail and heaven forbid they use a red pen to correct papers poor babies it's too upsetting for them. We worry to much about upsetting the kids and making everyone equal they have nothing to strive for.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:37 PM on Dec. 19, 2009

  • We think we need to start formal education too soon. In some states kids don't have to go to school until age 7. The best age for kids to start school may be around 12 or middle school age. By the time kids get to that age many of them hate school and are turned off on learning.

    There is a lot of evidence that children do best if they learn things on their own. Almost all kids can learn to read on their own by age 12. However, they do best if they have a good home environment that offers lots of learning experiences. Not lessons and worksheets but a full life, rich vocabulary, safe home.

    Since few kids have great homes and most kids have working parents school also serves as day care at $5K+ per kid per year.

    Answer by Gailll at 12:43 PM on Dec. 19, 2009

  • NP has some very good points and I agree with her.

    I also agree with delayed academics in many cases. I don't think we should be testing kids as young as we do. It crushes the love of learning out of them, and makes intelligent kids who are just not developmentally ready feel stupid. Not all kids need to read at five.

    All the "teach your baby to read" is crap too. Kids don't need to start soccer at 3, French at 4, and violin before age 5 to succeed.

    Answer by mancosmomma at 12:45 PM on Dec. 19, 2009

  • NO! I think we continue to "dumb" down our schools so everyone will be "successful". We don't want them to work hard and rise to the top through good work, competition, and high expectations. We help them succeed by giving one child an "A" because another child handed in something for extra credit. We give them "60's" when they actually earned a "20" just so they have a better chance of not failing. Let them fail. They learn a lot from the failing.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 12:53 PM on Dec. 19, 2009

  • Yes, it is well known that children under 7 need to be doing many activities to develop their brains and their emotions that are entirely un-academic ... that do not involve sitting still and focussing on figures on papers or up on a blackboard.

    In the 70's & 80's the educational establishment woke up to the fact that early reading was proving to handicap children's ability to have strength of purpose, that by 3rd or 5th grade early readers/early-schooled children were "burnt out". Newspaper articles abounded citing the research studies, and those of us involved in children's well-being could heave a collective sigh of relief. We could relax from the battle to show parents that they could take a few minutes to learn what they SHOULD be doing to help their kids rather than their silly impulse to "play house" by plastering letters all over the walls. Today we have the even more harmful "baby videos".

    Answer by waldorfmom at 12:57 PM on Dec. 19, 2009

  • So, when our kids are young, we "push" them, and deprive them of the active learning they really NEED for healthy personalities, and our popular parenting practices ALSO let them down when they are older:
    we leave it to them to wade through their schoolwork on their own ... some parents abandon them as young as 4th grade. Face it: no child learns their multiplication tables by thinking about it ONLY during the 25 minutes of math lesson at school.

    And without parental support - REAL SUPPORT - at home, teachers in the schools are forced to dumb down their lessons more every year. Teachers clearly see the damage of giving children failing grades when they simply don't understand the material. So they adjust the material to the class' ability and work throughout the year to bring them up to speed. Teachers can only work with what the students bring to class. And PARENTS are responsible for what their children are bringing.

    Answer by waldorfmom at 1:05 PM on Dec. 19, 2009

  • No. I think Mothers are pushing their kids into way too many after school activities such as sports, dance school, etc. and they are too stressed out to have the energy or TIME to do school work qat home or and learn in the classroom. Kids are overscheduled. In Europe the kids go to school, learn,then come home and learn more. It is just nuts how many kids here in our suburb are never home in the evening because of some kind of goofy activity and they get to bed way too late. Academics need to come first.

    Answer by Lindalu2 at 1:16 PM on Dec. 19, 2009

  • Kids can learn to read at age 4 or 5 (I did) ...if they do it by themselves and they aren't pushed. First grade is where all children learn to read. A child who doesn't know how to read by second grade needs hel[p. There has to be a problem involved if they are not reading by second grade and it has to be solved. Reading comes first. Then,the rest falls into place.

    Answer by Lindalu2 at 1:24 PM on Dec. 19, 2009

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