by Karyn Ewart, PhD., Founder & Head of School, The Sycamore School
“He used to love school,” is a common refrain I hear from parents.
Too many students are falling out of love with school after elementary school, when school transitions from hands-on learning to rote memorization, layered with a lot of homework and a culture of acceleration.
Schools are holding college preparedness workshops at the end of elementary school; middle schoolers are taking numerous high school credit courses; then, in high school, students are encouraged to take as many AP classes as possible, so that they can earn college credit.
The result of this acceleration? Students are constantly worried about how to get ahead instead of being present. How do we stop this vicious cycle of stress and help our kids learn how to learn?
Parents are afraid to ask this question. They need to understand that we can’t engineer a good life for our kids by pushing them beyond what is developmentally appropriate.
As a psychologist, I’ve seen the worry and the angst. You want your kids to discover a passion that will spark learning and lead them into adulthood, but you are afraid that if you don’t go with the flow, and buy into the system of acceleration, your kid will be left out of success later.
Imagine what would happen if your children didn’t have homework, actually enjoyed school and were able to retain what they learned.
What would happen if your children made mistakes and it wasn’t the end of the world? What if they weren’t afraid to fail? What would happen if your kids learned how to manage their time effectively and to think creatively? What would happen if you could let go, just a little, and let your child fall… and then soar?
They would fall in love with learning. Help your child rediscover their love of learning – come visit The Sycamore School; located in the heart of Arlington.
About The Sycamore School
Featuring an urban campus, the Ballston-based school is expanding to serve 5th-10th grades for the 2018-19 school year, with upper grades being added as the class ages up. The Sycamore School features:
- Inquiry-based, self-paced learning
- Student-centered classes
- Hands-on experiential activities
- Depth vs. breadth of instruction
- Critical thinking, creative problem solving and teamwork
- Small classes; 1:10 teacher to student ratio
- Connecting concepts across content areas & to the real world
- Opportunities for self-advocacy
- Organizational & study skills
- Weekly community activities
- Regular mindfulness practice
- Social & Emotional Learning folded into the curriculum
- Movement incorporated throughout the day
- No Homework