The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups

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“Christakis . . . expertly weaves academic research, desire and anecdotal evidence into her book . . . a bracing and convincing case that early education has reached a spot of crisis . . . her book is usually a rare thing: a significant work of research which also happens to be well-written and private . . . engaging and important.”
–Washington Post

“What kids need from grown-ups (but aren’t getting)…an impassioned plea for educators and parents that will put down the worksheets and flash cards, ditch the tired craft projects (yes, you, Thanksgiving Handprint Turkey) and exotic vocabulary lessons, and double-down on a single, simple word: play.”
–NPR.org

The New York Times bestseller that can offer a bold challenge for the conventional wisdom about early childhood, using a pragmatic program to encourage parents and teachers to rethink where and how young children learn best if you take the child’s eye look at the learning environment

To a four-year-old watching bulldozers with a construction site or chasing butterflies flying, the globe is awash with promise. Little children come into the entire world hardwired to know in almost any setting and approximately any matter. Yet in today’s preschool and kindergarten classrooms, learning has become reduced to scripted lessons and suspect metrics that a lot often undervalue a child’s intelligence while overtaxing the child’s growing brain. These mismatched expectations wreak chaos on the family: parents fear if they find the “wrong” program, their children won’t go into the “right” college. But Yale early childhood expert Erika Christakis says our fears are wildly misplaced. Our the fear of preparing and safeguarding our children’s future appears to have reached nausea pitch in a time when, ironically, science offers us more certainty than ever that young kids are exceptionally strong thinkers.
In her pathbreaking book, Christakis explains what it’s want to be a young child in America today, within a world developed by and for adults, where we now have confused schooling with learning. She offers real-life approaches to real-life issues, with nuance and direction that can us far beyond the normal prescriptions for fewer tests, more play. She examines children’s by using language, their artistic expressions, the way in which their imaginations grow, and exactly how they build deep emotional bonds to stretch the boundaries of these small worlds. Rather than clutter their worlds with increased and more stuff, sometimes the wisest course for all of us is to master how to get out in their way.
Christakis’s message is energizing and reassuring: children are inherently powerful, plus they (in addition to their parents) will flourish once we learn new options for restoring the vital early learning environment to a single that is best suited for the littlest learners. This bold and pragmatic challenge on the conventional wisdom peels back the mystery of childhood, revealing the place that’s rich with possibility.

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