Since I whine constantly about the kids’ school, fairness demands that I let you know when I see good things. I just returned from a little science fair at the school where the elementary kids displayed their projects about plants and animals.
Montessorian that I am I found it boring, because each project followed a repetitive pattern without any individual creativity or internal drive. However, within that pattern, there’s no doubt but that the kids performed wonderfully. Each child, including my own, had clearly spent a lot of time learning about his or her subject. They had statistics, fun facts, pictures, etc.
To be honest, I don’t believe that, when I was their age, we were doing anything as sophisticated at my school. Indeed, I’m willing to bet we weren’t. For all that we complain about American education, the fact is that we’re expecting our children to learn subjects much sooner than we ourselves did. Thus, while I fuss about the way information is being packed almost mindlessly into our kids, they’re definitely getting lots and lots of that information inside their brains — and from what I saw of this crew, they’re handling it with a fair amount of grace and enthusiasm.