Happy Friday and greetings from Miami.
Many of you have reached out asking for book recommendations on alternative education. I'll start by sharing some classics that highlight the problems with compulsory schooling and the outdated system. I'm also including some children books for you to enjoy with your little ones.
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Ms. Fab's Book Recommendations
How Children Fail by John Holt: This book offers insights into how kids learn and why they turn off their minds in conventional school. John Holt gives examples of why grades, tests, and compliance result in kids learning to play the game of school. This book was written in 1964, and although schools have improved since then, you'll notice that the outcomes are pretty much the same today.
John Holt has another book titled How Children Learn where he looks at how we learn to talk, read, count, and reason, and how we can nurture and encourage these natural abilities in our kids.
Dumbing us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto: After 30 years in New York City’s public schools, John Taylor Gatto arrived at the sad conclusion that compulsory schooling does little else than teaching kids to follow orders and comply.
Here are my thoughts on what he describes as the ‘seven hidden lessons’ that are taught within the school system (from a newsletter I wrote exactly one year ago!).
Excellent Sheep by William Deresiewicz: The author of this book, a Yale professor, describes how fundamentally broken elite education is and offers insights into how we can make college a place for self-discovery and critical thinking. This book will make you question how education plays a part in building a meaningful life.
Books to enjoy with your kiddos
Zero by Kathryn Otoshi explores how to find value in yourself and others.
What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada is a story about a boy who stumbles upon a brilliant idea and how he helps to bring it into the world. This book is great to inspire kids to welcome and nurture their ideas, no matter how big or small.
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein is the true story of how a French man named Philippe Petit accomplished his “impossible” dream of walking across a cable wire between the World Trade Center buildings in 1974. This book speaks to the power of perseverance and determination.
Cultivate your kid's curiosity
Kids naturally think in first principles.
They ask 'why' a lot because they're trying to understand how things work. They're trying to deconstruct what's thrown at them and decide if it makes sense. They're trying to think for themselves.
So, parents, cherish those 'why' questions. It's the best way to cultivate your kids' curiosity and sense of wonder.
Here's a fun and simple way to do it:
Until next week!
Ana Lorena Fabrega