Friday, September 30, 2011

Thanks going out to all of you who could join us for the Cider Harvest Festival. The weather held off while parents assisted the children in climbing, shaking, picking, gathering, washing, chopping and pressing! Whew! What good work. Thanks especially to those who stayed and filled our cart with cider for our year together. So glad that our alumni and older siblings, Shamus, Elias, Ella and Yonah could join us for this Homecoming event also.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A+ for Finland

Our neighbor just dropped off this month's Smithsonian with the article "A+ for Finland".

Imagine: Children in Finland aren't required to go to school until they're 7. Standardized tests are rare. And yet the Nordic nation's success in education is off the charts. Children spend far more time playing outside, even in the depths of winter. Homework is minimal.

Finland also provides three years of maternity leave and preschool for all 5 year olds, where the emphasis is on play and socializing.

The emphasis is on cooperation rather than competition, and it works. Perhaps because the people in the government agencies running schools in Finland, from national officials to local authorities, are educators, not business people, military leaders or career politicians.