Here are 13 things for little kids to worry about instead of college and test preparation

Since I wrote about homeschooling last week, I’ve been fielding tons of email messages from people sharing their public education horror stories.

This one jumped out at me because it seems to echo the news about an elementary school that canceled its kindergarten play so that the kindergartens could focus on college preparation. I don’t know that this woman’s kid goes to that school (she didn’t mention it, so I assume he doesn’t), but she is dealing with a similar problem.

Honestly, I hesitated to share this with you because, to me, in my little bubble of innocence and naivety, this is almost too horrendous to believe. A kid in FIRST GRADE already giving up his hobbies and passions because he’s concerned about what his college application will look like?

Is it that bad out there? I guess it is. At least, this seems to be an indication:

 

Dear Matt,

I read your post about home schooling and decided to finally email you, even if I’m not expecting a response. My son, Peter, is in first grade in a public school. Recently, with a combination of Common Core and just bad educational strategies on the part of the school, my kiddo seems to have lost his interest and motivation. I don’t blame his teachers but I blame the system, as you pointed out. He used to love to learn and read, but now he comes home stressed out and anxious. He is reduced to tears when he’s doing his homework! The math work is INSANE! I don’t think I had the amount of tests and homework that he has even when I was in COLLEGE!

I’m writing to you because my heart was broken last week when my son, who has always been very creative, playful, and loved arts and crafts, came home and announced that he doesn’t want to draw or play with Legos anymore. I asked him why and he said that it’s a waste of time. When I asked him why it’s a waste of time, he said it won’t help him get into college! I’m not kidding! Yesterday he told me he “hates school more than anything.” I told him that school is good because it’s where you go to learn. He literally responded that he “hates learning.”

This is crazy! I feel like the school is crushing my poor kid’s spirit and now he doesn’t even want to draw or do arts and crafts with mom anymore. It’s all about testing and grades and “useful knowledge”, and I’m afraid that his childhood is being taken from him. I don’t know why I’m writing this to you. I just enjoy your opinion, and the funny thing is that my son likes you, too. He hears mom and dad talk about your blog at the dinner table, so now “Mr. Matt” has become kind of a mythological hero to him, lol. I showed him the picture of you trying to kill a spider and he laughed his head off!

What do you think about this, Matt? I just want to know your perspective.

Sincerely,

Anne

 

Dear Anne,

I think you chose the right words. If I’m a hero, it’s only in a mythological sense. In the real world, I’m noticeably lacking any heroic qualities at all. Still, I appreciate that you’ve opened up to me about your issue with your son. You know that I’m a homeschool proponent, so the first thing that comes to mind is that maybe you should consider other options outside of public school.

Of course, I don’t know your situation, so I can’t make that judgment call. It isn’t my business, anyway.

I thought that I’d write an email back to you, ranting about how kids are having their creativity and zest for life sucked out of them, but I changed my mind. I’ve ranted plenty on that subject, and I’m sure I’ll rant again in the future.

Right now, I’d like to address Peter directly, if you don’t mind. I wrote him a letter, and I’m hoping you’ll read it to him, or help him read it.

Here it is:

 

Hi Peter,

It’s Mr. Matt. I’m really worried, because your mom tells me that you think it’s a waste of time to draw pictures and play with Legos. I’m sad that you feel that way, because I bet you could draw an awesome picture of a dinosaur or a spaceship, but now the world will never get to see it.

Here’s the question, though:

Can you draw a picture of a dinosaur IN a spaceship? Check out the doodle I sketched this morning:

photo (1)

OK, maybe that looks more like a big hat with a picture of a lizard on it, but I tried my best.

I’ll admit that a few people in the history of the world have made cooler pictures. Has your mom told you about the Sistine Chapel? Look at this:

Sistina-interno

A guy named Michelangelo painted those pictures on the ceiling 500 years ago. It took him FOUR YEARS to paint all of them. If arts and crafts are a waste of time, then Michelangelo wasted A LOT of it.

Your mom also tells me that you hate learning. That’s too bad, Peter, because I love to learn, and I bet there are tons of things you’d love to learn about, too.

Did you know that there’s a type of cat called a cheetah, and it can run as fast as a car or a motorcycle?

Did you know that the temperature on the Sun is 27 MILLION degrees?

Did you know that your brain is smarter and more powerful than every computer on the planet?

These are really exciting facts. My life is more fun and enjoyable because I know them. This is what happens when you learn. You discover more about the world and yourself. Learning is like going on a journey over an ocean, or through a jungle, except you can do it in your home or at school.

There are a bunch of things I haven’t learned yet, but I hope I will one day. For example, I’ve always wanted to know why people yawn, or why it’s impossible to tickle yourself. Maybe you can find those things out and teach me about them. Or maybe nobody knows, and you can be the first person to ever answer the question.

Also, can you figure out what this weird animal is supposed to be:

untitled (57)

I think it lives in the rainforest, but I’m not sure. I need help investigating this mystery.

See, I’m not even in school or college, but I’m always trying to feed my brain and increase my understanding of the world around me.

You should learn, and draw, and paint, and read, and play with Legos, Peter. I still play with Legos. You wouldn’t believe the huge tower I built last week. It literally touched the ceiling. Seriously.

Don’t worry about college and grown up stuff right now. You’ve got more important things to do. Things like:

-Running outside

-Rolling down a grassy hill

-Using your imagination

-Jumping through a sprinkler

-Jumping in a puddle

-Jumping on the couch (don’t tell your mom)

-Deciding what you’ll say if aliens land and you’re the first person to make contact with them. (I already decided what I’ll say. I’ll probably just tell them “hello,” and then I’ll ask them if they want some iced tea.)

-Painting and drawing pictures

-Writing poems and stories

-Reading books

-Playing games

-Daydreaming

-Eating ice cream

That’s at least 13 things that you should definitely fit into your schedule, especially playing, reading, and daydreaming. And ice cream, obviously.

My kids are just babies, but I hope they’re as artistic and creative as you one day. It’s a great power — a superpower — to be able to dream things in your head and then put them on paper. Sometimes it’s fun to dream something in your head, and just keep it there, and revisit your dream from time to time. It’s like you’re building a new world for yourself, out of nothing but your mind and your imagination.

I have a homework assignment for you: think of a story. Just make up a story. Any story at all. You don’t have to tell anyone, or write it down, or do anything with it. Just think of it. That’s all. Put yourself in your story — pretend you’re the main character. Think about it, just for the sake of thinking about it.

That’s the assignment.

When I was a kid, I liked to think that I was a time traveling ninja.

Actually, I still like to imagine that I’m a time traveling ninja.

My wife doesn’t enjoy it when I wear my ninja costume to the grocery store, or to dinner at her mother’s house, but I’m not sure why.

Anyway, I hope you continue to play, and draw, and learn, Peter. You’re a kid, and that’s your job right now.

Sincerely,

Mr. Matt

P.S. I know what you’re thinking, but just because I’m afraid of spiders doesn’t mean I can’t be a ninja.

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285 Responses to Here are 13 things for little kids to worry about instead of college and test preparation

  1. HM says:

    I’ve homeschooled for 17 years and have loved the advantages it has offered our family, but I’ve also spent the last 5 years scoring standardized essays from different states. What I have liked least about the job is reading thousands of essays (I read 10,000+ essays in one scoring season) where the student complains about the pressure he or she is under with their schooling. These essays are written by students of all ages, all levels of writing ability. They write endlessly about their school load, amount of study, lack of free time, and how much they detest school. This current year I saw a sharp increase in the intensity of complaints, whether the additional complaining was brought about because of the writing prompts or group think or real depression, I don’t know. Whatever the reasons, there’s enough anxiety in these teen/tween essays to know that Anne, the mother and letter writer, shouldn’t expect to see an improvement in her 1st grader’s attitude anytime soon. Unless. . . unless. . .she, and other public school parents like her, stand up and say, “Enough.”

    • essay33 says:

      Hey, I score standardized essays too (the CAHSEE)! And this current year’s writing prompt really tapped a nerve with the students. I kept wishing the teachers they wrote about could see what these kids think of them, the learning experience (or lack thereof) and school in general.

  2. Denise says:

    Amen Matt!! You are a good seed and I am happy to have just recently found your blog. My children are grown now, with kids of their own and none of the school aged kids are going public. The system has been broken for many years in Florida and they are doing whatever is necessary to keep the grandkids out of the system (private schools for now). They are encouraged to play and be kids. They all absorb like sponges and that is how they learn. My eldest granddaughter (she is 5) comes with me to the beach to experience nature with a friend who is a sea turtle ranger and she loves it and learns all about our friends in the ocean. She dances, sings, draws and has such an imagination…she is going to be a doctor…today! Keep up the good work, you are bless. God’s speed.

    • Denise says:

      P.S. Florida has abandoned cursive writing in the public schools…it is a waste of time to learn how to write in their own language so they can direct the children to more important matters 😦

  3. Audrey says:

    You are one class act Matt Walsh. Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us.
    p.s. When I was homeschooling my kids we had a wonderful science lesson in the backyard watching a garden spider (very large) build a web.

  4. JW says:

    At the moment my seven year old son is planning on learning about motors, then driving a semi truck for a few years. After that he will work with Daddy putting stucco on houses, and later, work for LEGO designing new sets…I’m sure Peter could come up with a list which is just as exciting!!

  5. Ruth says:

    I think you do have some heroic qualities. That was a beautiful letter.

  6. Debbie Campbell says:

    The story is pathetically sad, but your response is brilliantly spot on.

  7. Liz says:

    Thank you for this response! I homeschooled my kids for 10 years and loved (almost) every minute. My kids were and are wonderfully socialized, have jobs that support their families, and aren’t weird. 😳 one is even in med school, planning to be a neurosurgeon.

  8. Emily says:

    If a school has to cancel a school play due to Common Core, than the school has an issue. I work at a Catholic School with Common Core implemented, and the kids probably have no clue that it is any different. We still work and play the same, we just have a few extra things we cover.

  9. helldoesntownme says:

    Matt! Dude! You’re so cool. Peter, listen to him. Drusilla http://lovedasif.com/

  10. LSCS-XO says:

    Smiles and tears…..Thank you, Mr. Matt! You ROCK!

  11. iguessitsme says:

    I read part of this to my kids today- we hschool- as they were… painting legos 🙂 I think they especially appreciated the super power aspect of it. We launched into a discussion about all the creative outlets of the different people in our family. It was a pretty remarkable way of looking at the diverse talents and interests in our family alone, and it was a real eye opener for my kids to hear about the talents that grandparents use. Thanks for the article!

  12. King Bulbous says:

    Playing with legos is the path to an engineering career, my friend . . .

    • Jess says:

      Oh, so true!! My older brother played with Legos, Tinker Toys, and Lincoln Logs and is now an engineer. So playing is a GOOD thing. 🙂 (And he certainly didn’t worry about college in first grade, either.)

      • essay33 says:

        My eldest son played with Legos as a child. He’s married now, a well educated and highly trained USAF pilot, and he STILL enjoys building intricate things with Legos. There’s no age limit to them.

  13. Morgan says:

    Love it, Matt! Although I must say that that list is a good for adults as well. I had two wonderful parents who encouraged me to draw and bought me enough art supplies to fill a garage and now, even as an adult, my imagination gets away from me sometimes (I sometimes pretend that I am landing a plane when I put my car into my parking spot at work…yes I just put that on the internet). Arts, crafts, imagination are wonderful and I love the letter you wrote to the little guy. Everything you said was correct. I would love to homeschool my children–I don’t want them in the public schools! I used to work there. Hopefully, my husband and I can decide on a good option that does not include making our kids feel miserable.

  14. Predicto says:

    Oh man! I like this – “time traveling ninja”. Me too!

  15. KGW says:

    I’m a former public school teacher turned homeschooling mom of my 9 year old super star. When I read this blog I was moved to tears like so many other readers have stated. It broke my heart as a teacher and a parent to hear about the little guy giving up on his dreams. I know there are a lot of good, caring teachers out there that still work hard to keep creativity, imagination, and the love of learning alive in their classrooms ,but as I know from experience, it is a loosing battle. It is all about a number to the powers that be. That score on a test that really does nothing to evaluate true knowledge and understanding and of course it doesn’t even come close to measuring problem solving, cooperative spirit, leadership and communication, just to name a few. That number on the head of my child doesn’t truly tell anyone anything about him. He is more than a stat. He is an explorer, a thinker, a builder, a reader, a learner, and a dreamer but most importantly he is HAPPY. I pray that maybe someday it can be that way for all of the little super stars out there.

  16. Kami McManus says:

    Dear Peter,

    If your Mom sees this then I want her to know I understand and I agree! There is way to much pressure put on kids these days! Kids need to just be kids! You will grow and be an adult soon enough and now is the time for playing, dreaming, and getting dirty! You should see the messes my 6 yr old daughter makes! White pants do not go well with Oklahoma red clay, but I figure she is only young once and that is what bleach is for! Hugs for you and your Mom! My kids and I have a lot of fun with Legos! For my son’s 10th birthday we went to Legoland Discovery Center in Dallas! It was pretty cool! School is almost done, have a FANTASTICALLY FUN summer Peter! You deserve it!

    Sincerely,

    An Oklahoma Mom

  17. Shanon P says:

    Matt, how wonderful. I’m crying. I hear all these moms at my son’s sports games talking about how miserable their kids are in school.. and I see how tired their kids are. And it makes me so sad. We homeschool. I really had no idea of the devastating effect Common Core was/would have on kids when I chose to homeschool… really I just chose to homeschool because I wanted to. I want to be with my kids all day (weird I know…) and I like helping them grow. Slowly.

    Anyway… I’ll share this over and over again. This made me cry. Because, seriously WHAT has happened to the children in our country? Where has their childhood gone? 😦 I still sometimes pretend like I am a unicorn – especially if we go to the skating rink. Everyone should dream in their heads. What will happen to the world if we just squash everyone’s imaginations at the Kindergarten level? I can’t stand to think of it…

  18. Denise says:

    Matt,

    ::happytears::

    You are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!

    Most Sincerely,
    Denise

  19. Sharon says:

    I taught my daughter and son from kindergarten thru high school … And I am so amazed and WEARY of people thinking I’m a hero of some sort! ( the others think I’m insane ;-() ). I just did what I thought was BEST for my child. AND I didn’t like turning my responsibility for their well being, and education over to others. I figured it was a crap shoot every year….yeah, you might get a good teacher one year….but there are 13 short years….and POOF their gone. So, thanks Matt, for bringing attention to the alternative that is life giving. You don’t have to stand by and watch their spirits die. And no, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to do it. I would not take anything for the memories and learning adventures we experienced together….And , man, did I learn a lot !!!!! :).
    Oh, and by the way, my daughter graduates in May with honors from Baylor University!!! And my son is right behind her…maybe not with honors, but he is playing college golf and doing college well . So, there is reward to the commitment ….and they both understand that learning is a life time journey.They are also shocked at their peers who don’t know what happened on the 4th of July!!!!!!!! ;-(.

  20. Marcella says:

    I love this. Great job.

  21. Lisa says:

    Awesome, Matt. No question you are and will continue to be a really great Dad — one of the pair of the world’s best teachers for your children!

  22. mick8 says:

    Hey Matt,

    Thank-you for your letter to Peter. 🙂 It also reassured this mom that she is right for an abundance of reasons to homeschool, one of the being the right to protect her children’s child-hood.

    Peter I truly do hope you rediscover the beauty of lego, painting, running, getting dirty and that your mom takes you out into the next rain storm to get wet and jump in puddles.

  23. I’ll never forget how my daughter, who was in the gifted program in her later school years, was kept in from recess by her kindergarten teacher because she wasn’t finishing her coloring assignments on time. She hated going outside of the lines and not doing a good job and this was slowing her down. After several weeks of her coming home in tears, I finally had to teach her how to color quickly by not being so meticulous. While perfection isn’t a quality to encourage in children, I hated having to tell her that she didn’t need to do such a good job because it wasn’t what her teacher expected. All she needed to do was the bare minimum so that she could get to go outside and play with her friends. I felt like I had to “dumb her down” to the standards of the rest of the class; I’d seen their coloring papers and they were very messy and not the kind of work I wanted my child getting accustomed to producing.

    We had some very rocky years with the public schools and I really wanted to get her out of there but when I became a single mom, that became impossible. Thankfully, I was always able to keep her encouraged by helping her learn about topics that interested her in her spare time. She spent many summers studying new languages and reading Russian literature and I’m thrilled to say that she’s now in her third year of college as a linguistics major and plans to continue until she gets her doctorate.

    She loves learning but it’s IN SPITE OF her experiences in public school. There were two or three great teachers who really inspired the students but, on the whole, most of them had bad attitudes and low morals. I spent alot of time explaining to my daugher that she needed to respect their authority but not to behave like them. In the end, it’s up to the parents to make sure their children are learning what we want them to learn and to stay involved in what’s happening at school. It’s time-consuming and can be exhausting but it’s so worth it!

  24. Holly says:

    YOU DA MAN!!!

  25. Crystal says:

    I both loved your words and hated that you had to write them. Sweet boy, I hope you can find that zest for learning again, and very soon.

  26. Sarah says:

    My daughter is about to complete Kindergarten at a public school. 22 kids in her class. Her bookbag comes home stuffed with pictures she drew and games she made up. She’s had homework maybe 6 times in the entire year, almost all art projects. She reads at a 3rd grade level and likes to do math problems for fun. She cried the other day because the school year was going to end. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know what college even is. One thing I hope to instill in her is that there are two sides to every coin.

    • Chris D. says:

      Sarah,
      That’s how I remember school growing up. School was fun and engaging and I looked forward to going back, even through high school. However my oldest was in 1st grade this year and he had between 2-4 pages of homework a night and weekly spelling and math tests. They were trying to shove so much information down his throat every day that he retained none of it. I don’t know if it was Common Core to blame or not, but it seemed the information they were presenting was way above a 1st grade level. My wife and I (who excelled in math) would go over his work with him but there was more than one time when we were both stumped at what the work was asking. After struggling most of the year, working with councilors, teachers, and leadership, we decided to pull him out for the rest of the year and homeschool him next year and beyond. We plan on starting Classical Conversations in the fall. For now though my wife is schooling him daily and, while he still struggles in math, his reading and writing has gotten significantly better in the last few months. He was able to read the first chapter of Genesis to me and it was one of the proudest moments of my life.
      My point being that I fear the school system is changing, and not for the better. Again, I don’t know to lay the blame on Common Core (which our school system adopted last year) or if it’s the overall culture of schooling where we live, but I don’t have high hopes. This seems to be the norm from parents I know across the country and have read about. I just hope that your daughter can continue to enjoy school and doesn’t lose her love of learning.

  27. Alison says:

    I occasionally volunteer at a private learning center near our home. Since our state has implemented the Common Core we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of K through 2nd grade students seeking our services. It breaks my heart to see many of them cry from failed attempts to understand the math work. The tutors do their best and have some background in the Common Core curriculum and even THEY have to spend half an hour deciphering the teacher’s instructions. I’ve also heard from many family members about the struggles their first and second graders go through with this ridiculous math “curriculum.”

  28. Pastor Al says:

    Thanks for the perspective in your advice. I’m 63 and the daydreams of my younger years are the fields that the Lord grew the crops He’s harvesting today.

  29. beautiful letter matt , 🙂

  30. Maria says:

    Love this letter! Praying for Peter! When I was about his age, I dreamed of being Tarzan; my brother and I threw a rope around a ceiling beam and swung while doing the “AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaa AAAAAAAAaaaaaaAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!” yell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwHWbsvgQUE&feature=player_embedded

  31. Raisincat says:

    Yup….loooong ago, I was the kid who doodled in the margins of everything. Won my first art “contest” at a birthday party when I was about 8. There wasn’t such a thing as “common core” or any other standardized tests – you learned throughout the year and at the end you either got promoted or held back. Anyway, I ended up spending about 30 years as a medical artist – I got a degree in “graphic design”, but NEVER had any medical classes, except I audited one anatomy class at the university med school….the rest I learned by the grace of God, the seat of my pants, long hours at the medical school library, and the patience and help of many doctors (or I should say mentors – everyone should have some. One of those mentors got me in to audit that anatomy class). I was the primary illustrator on several books and countless presentations, journal articles, etc. etc.The only college class that really helped me in my field was life drawing, because we had a great prof who made us learn the skeleton, then the muscles, then the rest of it. Also, except for an intro class in photoshop, I taught myself everything I needed to know about Adobe Design suite and other computer programs.

    I’m not saying that formal education of any kind (public, homeschool, university, whatever) is useless. What I want to tell Peter and all the other kids out there is that you ultimately learn by DOING. Not by taking a test. Remember that.

  32. Amy says:

    I used to work for a Chiropractor and yawning causes the tiny little bones at the base of your skull to pop back into place if they have slipped out, we yawn when we are sleepy because that is when we are relaxed and it is easier for those tiny bones to go *pop! 🙂 Or, that’s what I’m told!

  33. Lisa Russo says:

    Wow, that was really cool Matt! I just discovered your blog, from a Facebook share of your post on the two worst arguments against homeschool. Then I read your response on this Sterling debacle. Now this. It’s like you are in my head and letting out all those things I want to scream out, but don’t for various reasons, well some I guess I do. I have not read all your back posts, and frankly probably won’t, so I have no idea whether we really think alike or only on particular issues, but I have liked your Fb page so I will keep up from now on. I am an “older” mom with two elementary aged children. I have always taken responsibility for raising them, meaning I educate them within the family instead of sending them to a government based institution for the majority of their day. I am a free thinker that is rational and realistic, at least I like to think so, and I want to raise my children to think that way as well. I love the letter to this child, and although we do not have this problem in our home, I still think I will read it to my children. Thanks and look forward to reading more.

  34. KindergartenMama says:

    Thank you…just, thank you. After reading the kindergarten cancellation article yesterday, this is tonic to my heart!

  35. HollyD says:

    Outstanding! The world NEEDS to read this and understand that kids need to be just that: kids. They can be college students when they are older….

  36. Dani says:

    Enjoyed this post more than any before it!

    I agree with much of what you write, but this one, this was really encouraging.

  37. Athanasia says:

    There are so many comments here that I wish I could “like”!

    We have become a society similar to the Island of Forgotten Toys. If we adults don’t feel like we measured up and have been relegated to the Island, by God we’ll make sure our children do measure up (so we can live vicariously through them), all under the guise of what is best for the children. It is the “me” generation keeping it all about us. We’ve forgotten the fun of summer days laying in the grass, gnawing on a blade while imagining what cloud shape was above us, hop scotch, making haunted fun houses with a penny admittance, kick ball, and mud pies.

    It is sad and frightens me. My first granddaughter will enter the world, by God’s Grace and mercy. What is in story for her? At Nonna’s house it will be swinging from the chandelier, making cookies, playing in rain puddles and drawing on the sidewalk.

    Thank you Matt, for being a voice for the voiceless. May God multiply your efforts.

  38. Tana says:

    I had to hold back the tears. This is an area that I’ve been getting more and more frightened for as my son grows older. Thank you Anne and Matt for this.

  39. Jamie Yawn says:

    Love, love, love this Matt!! I enjoy reading your blogs more and more every time. Thank you f

  40. Brianna says:

    Thank you! After I finished reading this post I went outside, where immediately my 8 year old son told me he’s a ninja and showed me his stick swirling skills. (Aslan is his name. Can you tell my husband and I enjoy fiction?) My 7 year old son was studying our tulips and he told me about some ants he found that were red and black. We found a frog and the boys along with my 5 year old daughter enjoyed watching our 1 year old girl scoot after it. Scooting tharound on her bottom is her prefered method of moving around so she dirties up lots of pants! All this while my 3 year old son slept. We made a pool for the frog and we’ll keep it until he wakes up so he can enjoy it too. And we’ll take the rest of the week off of structured school in the morning because my husband is off work. I love homeschooling! Thank you for helping me see the beauty of just enjoying my kids’ childhood!

  41. It is my understanding that people yawn when they are tired because the body is trying to load up on oxygen in response to the fatigue.

  42. Sarah says:

    One thing young kids know how to do is be dramatic. I would not be surprised if my son pulled similar one day. Because they do not express themselves as adult can, it’s the only way he could express his confusion. Kids here our conversations, overhear news stories, combine it with their experiences, and interpret it whatever way they can. Some parents play into it, some see it for what it is.

  43. chamblee54 says:

    This one set the BS detector buzzing. I find it tough to believe that “Peter” is in the first grade. Also, he is a kid. Being worried about getting into college, instead of playing with legos, sounds like a kid trying to learn how to think.
    However, there is one thing about this post that I find encouraging. No where in the thirteen items do you say to wonder what will happen to your soul when you die, That is definitely something that small children should not be taught to worry about. For that matter, adults need to get over the obsession with life after death.
    Maybe there are two things good about this post. You made it all the way through without a cheap shot at abortion. That is another subject children, of all ages, don’t need to have pounded into their head.

  44. Lisa says:

    This brought happy tears to my eyes. What a beautiful response to this young boy. 🙂

  45. strawberrygirl says:

    Wow, I guess “education” has become something right out of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” For what, so you can go and become indoctrinated into hating yourself, hating your parents, hating God, and hating white men? And find no job afterwards? Pfft.

  46. Trevor says:

    Best. Blog. Ever.

  47. Jim says:

    Simply thank you

  48. Dear Matt,

    I wanted to thank you so much for this post. This was just the reminder I needed. I’ve been a homeschooling mom for many years. I’ve got four children: a senior down to a first grader. When I ended up a single mom, I was determined to keep homeschooling my children, because I think it is that important. I school them during the day, work at night (I found a job that lets me work from home), and clean the house any chance I get a moment to breathe. That schedule has made me less fun. I was just preparing their curriculum for next year and feeling exhausted. Fortunately, someone called and told me to rea this post. You reminded me why I do this….because I LOVE learning and I want them to as well. That was a lot of unnecessary information to say thank you, but thank you.

  49. Angie says:

    I am a mother of a kindergarten child and have tried to encourage her artistic expression. She is constantly singing, making up songs and stories, dancing and conducting her own “experiments”. I made it a point to teach her math and reading at a very young age but in a way that she loved (mainly by playing games) and could relate to easily. I worried about her starting public school and that I wouldn’t have the same influence. So far that hasn’t been the case. She is light years above her peers in class-reading at a second grade level and adores math. I hope I can continue to show her that learning is wonderful and fun and can be done in so many different ways. Play is learning!

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