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The Case Against Teaching
 

by Naomi Aldort

Q: I cannot get my children, 13, 10 and 7, into anything of value. I try to create “life learning” situations but they are not interested. We offer nature activities and celebrations, but they only want to play. Not much draws them into what I offer. They don't even want to know names of trees, lakes or mountains as we go by them. What am I missing and how will they learn?

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“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.” 

Albert Einstein


Q: Our daughter is four and a very curious and social child. Even though we are planning to home school and I am at home with the baby (her brother), we signed her up for a wonderful small alternative pre-school so she can have social experience and learning opportunity. They are very respectful and provide free play and group activities. 

After a short adjustment period in which she cried when I left, our daughter became comfortable and happy there. Yet, after Christmas break she refused to go back and it has become a struggle every morning. I know she enjoys herself once she is at school but she doesn’t want to leave me. I don’t want to deprive her of a learning and social opportunity, but, I also want to listen to her choice. What would you suggest?

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Naomi does not teach parents how to “get kids to be/do…” but rather how to be with children so that they are free to be their own magnificent selves. Parents say that what they get out of Naomi’s work is much more than help in parenting – they get self-realization, which frees them to see the child with clarity and wisdom.

 

 

Naomi’s Declaration of Complete Confidence in Children:

  • Children respond best to modeling and leadership, not control.
  • Trust… and wait.
  • Choose between your momentary convenience and your long-term goal for your child’s sense of self.
  • Enjoy your child for who he is, not for who you would like him to be – he will never be this age again.
  • Distinguish between your emotional needs and what your child feels and needs. Act toward your child in harmony with her needs; take care of your emotional needs elsewhere.
  • Celebrate your child’s uniqueness as well as your own.

You can sign up for Naomi Aldort’s free newsletter and read some of her parenting articles on her site.

I especially love her views on institutionalized schooling;

  

School, Learning and Self-Esteem:

When children are represented as empty and ignorant vessels, adults brace themselves for making adults out of them. This means that...

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Q: My nine-year-old son is not reading and not even interested in learning to read. He recognizes letters and can identify some words but has no passion for mastering the skill. We read to him a lot, but are worried about this delay and specially about his lack of interest. What do you suggest?

 

A: I have always been perplexed by the rush to get children to read. Why dictate a certain age for reading? Why not trust the child to acquire what he needs when he is ready? What if later is better? Could reading bring to an end some of the incredible abilities we marvel in young children; their magical memory, acute hearing, imagination, vivid experiences and exuberant artistic expressions?

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My daughter used to draw and sing and my son used to build from blocks and legos. I sang with my daughter and drew side by side with her, and my son and my husband used to build side by side. Gradually both children stopped creating, saying they don’t like to or cannot. My daughter asks me to draw for her and my son asks his father to build for him. We are happy to do it for them (and we do,) but are concerned about their loss of interest in doing things on their own. How can I assist them in enjoying their own creations?

 

 A: Your children stopped creating because you joined them. They want to be the only stars in their own discovery and creation show. Most adults would also lose interest in doing something for themselves, if someone else joined in. By her nature, a child is pleased with her own...

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