Category Archives: education

How Many Words Does Your Child Need?

Amidst a growing emphasis on the centrality of language and writing comes this article from last week about an invisible problem: the “poverty of words.” It describes a rarely mentioned phenomenon: that children in more affluent households tend to hear more words per day than less fortunate kids. The reason is simple: Educated and involved […]

When No Teaching is the Best Teaching

A fascinating article in the New York Times last week discussed the intersecton of preschool and amateur science.  Its conclusion?  That kids learn more when they can explore on their own. Based on the research of Alison Gopnik at Berkeley, the study in question observed young children as they experimented on, and ultimately deciphered, various […]

What are 21st Century Skills, Anyway?

Ever hear that old saw, “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten”? To some, it is a precious whimsy, to others a well-loved book. But to early childhood educators like me, this particular phrase is an unshakable truth. Preschool (and kindergarten) is the time when higher-order skills like collaboration and creativity first […]

Is Failure the Key to Happiness?

I read a number of terrific articles over the past year, but two of them stood out. One, called “How to Land Your Kid in Therapy,” caused a significant stir when it was published. Its message that parents who overprotect their children are actually doing them a disservice provoked an outcry in some corners, and […]

How Young is Too Young to Read?

It is an all-too-common desire nowadays: the head start. No longer is it acceptable to raise a child who is average or even gifted; today’s high-pressure culture demands virtuosic performance from our kids—think red-shirting, Bach-playing, tiger moms and Kumon. Now the forces of balance have struck back: Last week one brand that had capitalized unusually […]

How to Choose the Right Culver City Preschool

Many parents in Culver City come into the preschool applications process with something like dread. Horror stories abound about five-year waiting lists and brutal interviews, but the truth is far gentler: many of the best preschools in Los Angeles come with reasonable waiting lists and genuinely delightful people at the helm. Because I field so […]