(originally created January, 2016 but, sadly, still fitting today)
To the misguided leaders in the state education department:
Stop trying to make my 10-year-old “college-ready.” He is 10. He should be building a foundation for 11, not 18. If he is allowed to be 10 – wholly 10 in all its growing, wiggling, exploratory wonder – he will be a fantastic 10. And, when the time is right, he will be the best 11 he can be. One day he will master 12, and then 13. Before long he will have 14 figured out and will continue to step his way through each year until, finally, he will be 18. At that time, if he has been allowed to be fully immersed in the progression of each individual year, he will be college-ready. Or, he won’t. And guess what…THAT’S OKAY! Not every student should go to college. There are amazing trades to learn and people who are well-suited to master those trades. And if we allow our 10-year-olds (or, better yet, our 4-year-olds) the time and space to explore every part of their world at that moment – the science, the art, the nature, the music, the building and demolition and repair and remodeling – they will find their place in the world when they are 18. They will find the college that is the best fit for them. They will discover the trade that brings out the skill in them. They will be aware of more aspects of themselves than we could ever ‘teach’ them and they will be ready for whatever life presents to them.
He’s 10. Let him be 10.
Let him be.
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