“Kids are capable of so much more than we give them credit for. And when you give them the space to actually go solve problems, they can just take that and run with it. They will learn so much about these Common Core things that parents are worried about, through the process of going and chasing these big, hairy, audacious goals.” -Hannah Frankman

Common Core standards have been pushing kids to learn a very general (and largely useless) curriculum on an arbitrary timeline. Most kids are different – their interests and learning speeds are different, and it is a tragedy to expect them all to learn the same things at the same speed.

In the 7th episode of the Success Without School podcast, co-hosts Hannah Frankman and Deb Fillman of The Reason We Learn discuss the science behind letting kids learn at their own pace, and why Common Core standards are taking away this very important element of a child’s education.

Hannah and Deb discuss what it takes to create an environment where every child can learn at a pace suitable for them, and discuss strategies that you can employ as a parent to help achieve this.

The nature of a child is completely different from the nature of the system in which they are educated, and Hannah and Deb discuss the problems that can arise in trying to tie the two together.

This episode covered:

  • Hannah’s story of following (and not following) Common Core standards while homeschooling (2:13)
  • Why do we even graduate? (4:42)
  • How the first principles of traditional education have not changed in many years (9:15)
  • What happens when you teach something to kids when they are not ready (13:30)
  • Deb’s relationship with math and how it changed when moving from Montessori to public school (18:18)
  • Is school “supposed” to be hard? (24:30)
  • The situations where kids can be pushed harder (34:42)
  • Ambition and learning(39:30)
  • The nature of a child vs the nature of the system (48:04)
  • Conclusion (1:02:10)

Interesting quotes

“Why do we graduate? We have this thing called the “Graduation” for every level of school, and I wonder, would there be such a thing if school wasn’t seen as compulsory and/or as a credentialing process, as opposed to a learning process for the child” -Deb Fillman (4:42)

“I think there’s a lot of damage being done by forcing kids into things before they’re ready. I’ve seen this again and again and I have experienced it too. My parents made a mistake by forcing math into me when I was not ready, and I grew up hating math. I am entirely convinced, however, that if my parents had waited till I was ready, there would’ve come a point in my life when I would’ve fallen in love with Math instead.” -Hannah Frankman (13:30)

“There’s this weird belief, that school is supposed to be hard, and learning is supposed to be hard. And it’s a very easy trap to fall into because we want our kids to push themselves, we want them to learn how to do the hard things, but because we want this, we equate that with school being hard. It doesn’t have to be, and it shouldn’t be for young kids. It is very detrimental, for school to be hard for young kids” -Hannah Frankman (24:30)

“This system, like all systems, is designed for the middle. It’s designed for the average. When you have a system designed for the average, basically the goal is to make the system kind of fit as many people as possible. But it’s not directly catering to anyone, and there’s some people it does not care to at all, and there’s some people that it’s actually detrimental to.”– Hannah Frankman (43:55)

“Be mindful of your child’s natural curiosity and feed it because when you do, chances are, they will use the thing they like to do to learn the thing they don’t like to do. And if you’re creative and clever about it, you can help them discover ways to do that. So they don’t resent it, they don’t think learning is a chore. Learning’s not supposed to be hard”– Deb Fillman (1:02: 22)

You can watch the full episode on Youtube

Kovid Bhaduri

Kovid Bhaduri

Kovid Bhaduri is a self directed learner and the author of “A one stop guide to productivity”. He has previously worked in SEZ research and spends his free time playing music and learning economics.

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