Skip to main content

Are We Dulling Our Kids?

While The Rabbit is not the worst foot-dragger in terms of attacking homework, it's still not pleasant. And why should it be? After 6 hours at school, she comes home for a quick snack and another hour at the desk making change on paper, and writing book reports. She's 5.

There's an interesting story today on MSNBC about how lack of playtime can hurt our kids.

I get it that it's a different world today. I understand that between No Child Left Behind and the competition that's overtaken the city schools she and I have almost no choice but to engage in some of this rote work. But I can't help but remember my 1st and 2nd and even 3rd grade years: We made dinosaurs out of clay. Held a garter snake. Built a city from milk cartons. Made tacos for Cinco de Mayo. And painted flowers. A lot of flowers.

I don't remember writing words 4 times a day to learn them. Don't remember 3 sheets of math homework a night. And certainly don't remember screaming at my mother that I just wanted to play with my toys. Not when I was 5.

I hope The Rabbit doesn't remember this either.


Anonymous said…
5 year old children should not have homework. After a full day at school, they need to come home, relax, chat to mother/minder, play...they don't need a crazy social life either. They are learning constantly anyway. That walk through the park on the way home from school can be magical, calling in at the local Deli for a tea-time treat wonderful, feeding the household pet rewarding...We are in danger of producing a generation of sad, overly competative, robotic drones instead of happy, loving, imaginative people. Hard to get the work/play balance right these days.

Popular posts from this blog

Apologies for being incommunicado this week and hope none of you out there are too distraught not to be receiving the usual almost-daily MotV missives. The reason for the silence is that I'm up to my neck, metaphorically-speaking, in research papers for my first grad course assessment. This experience has made me realise how rigorously un-academic I am in my thinking. It has also illuminated how reliant I am on red wine in order to get through endless evenings typing furiously on my laptop, not to mention the fueling of increasingly colorful curses that I feel obliged to aim at the University's online library system which consistently refuses to spit out any of the journals I'm desperate for (I refuse to believe this is 100% due to my technical incompetence...)Oh well, if this is the price one has to pay in order to realize a long-cherished dream then it's not all that bad... No one ever said a mid-life career change would be easy. Wish me luck!

Recommended & the Mahiki dance-off

My GFs and I went to Mahiki last night, great fun as usual but made me feel a bit old; it seems that Thursday night is the playground of the just-past-pubescent. Oh well. Good tunes though, so whatever.In between taking over the dancefloor - the youngsters may have youth on their side but frankly that shrinks to insignificance in the face of two decades of clubbing experience - one of my GFs and I got into a conversation about why so many people are full of bull.It appears that many people we come across are content to live their lives in a superficial way, skimming the surface of what life has to offer and equating the ownership of stuff (cars, houses, boats, jewelry, designer clothes) with happiness. They converse in terms of status, strut their possessions as a measure of their own self-worth, take themselves far too seriously, are quick to judge others, easily annoyed, complain a lot about very little and their worries seem to far outweigh their joys. Personally, I think all that…


Following on from the realisation that my lungs are filthy and if I don't give up the smokes soon I face a life of wheezing at best, off I trotted to see the charming Dr T.

Dr T, who's charming by virtue of the fact that he's less jaded than the other doctors in the surgery (in other words, he treats patients as if they're human beings with a right to NHS services rather than annoying fraudsters trying to gain sympathy for imaginary illnesses) promptly put me on potentially habit-forming drugs to get me off the evil weed. Something doesn't feel quite right about this but since I'm so pathetically grateful to have a doctor who's willing to give me more than two seconds of his precious time, I have acquiesced to his demands.

Anyway, this wonder drug is called Champix and promises to have me merrily chucking my smokes in the bin in no time. Or it will if I can get past the possible side effects, the highlights being abnormal dreams, nausea, flatulence, snoring, …