When it’s time to worry

Robert Fried says…

There is a simple test we can perform to find out whether or not our children are truly learning. We can ask them, not the usual question, “How was school today, Honey?” or “What did she teach you in your math class?” but rather, “Did you learn anything in school today that you really want to know more about?” If the answer is … usually no, you have cause for worry – even if your child brings home a good report card. [The Game of School, p. 7]

11 Responses to “When it’s time to worry”

  1. Great quote!

  2. I couldn’t agree more with this. Just making the change from asking students about their own learning, as opposed to focusing on their grades, would make a huge difference in how they think about school and learning.

  3. I read something a while ago that said if you ask your child “what did you do today’ and they respond with “nothing” they may be telling you the truth. What they really mean is nothing exciting or engaged. teachers have a wealth of new tools at their disposal, we need to move into the 21st century.

  4. I’m heading into Amazon to order the book. Thanks for a resource on such an important topic.

  5. …or, John Barell often writes that instead of asking kids the “What did you learn?” variety of questions, we should be asking our students “Did you ask a good question today?”

  6. I have really enjoyed these quotes and comments. again, I struggle with these issues with my oldest daughter each and every day. I think all schools are the same all teachers are not…Teachers hold the most important job in the world and some do an excellent job of realizing this and working with each child to ensure they are getting all they can out of school, others…

  7. I think this is a great shift in viewing education. I have a first grader, and I always ask those first two questions. I see that he is so full of wonder and energy for learning that I can help foster his hunger by prompting him with questions like that, rather than, “How was your spelling test?” I like the idea of reinforcing true learning like this. Thanks for the quote and the book reference. I am definitely going to pick it up.

  8. I very rarely learned anything in school I really wanted to know about. The only thing I can remember being fascinated with was history in 8th grade, and division in grade 2 or so.

  9. Seems like school is the pits, more damaging than Lindsay Lohan, more soul-crushing than ‘Meet the Spartans’.

    Yet we all go, most send their kids.

    Everyone has the answers, the essential questions, but no one I’ve met has put in place a teacher-training program that grooms the Alpha Plus Plus-ers needed to occupy the buildings.

    And how many publicly funded schools stress ‘learning’ beyond mission statements?

    Okay, one point for Chris Lehmann and SLA.

    In the meantime, I have four kids crawling, cruising, and walking their way toward the large, walled-garden that is my home district.

    I’ll never ask them another question.

  10. I do believe in asking different questions on how was school and how was you day, but how do you know if your getting the right answer. What if your child is telling you they did nothing just to have them leave them alone. What if you kids don’t like to talk about what they did at school?

  11. This is a very nice subject. I know that when i have children in school as long as they can explain something to me they learned i will be just fine. Those parents that have kids coming home saying no i didnt learn anything an i hate school its time to intervene. Dont let it get to this point and if it does go to your childs school and make sure the teacher realizes they have kids getting left behing in the learning process and maybe they should either start teaching class or slow it down so they actually learn the lesson.

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