A CEO AT 4 YEARS OLD

The nation is obsessed with teaching test taking preparation, an easy, if unfair, way to evaluate and  then fire teachers, get more federal and state aid (please explain the logic of giving more aid to successful schools rather than to schools that need to improve) and, let us not forget the hidden demon, improve real estate values.

What the nation should be obsessed with is improving students’ executive functioning.  The “Brains CEO” which, among other things, involves the ability to categorized (see my post on junk drawers), sequence, and understand cause and effect (If I organize clothes before hand, I have time to finish breakfast or finish my book).

If schools aren’t doing this job, then parents must, but they are not.  In fact, everyone has to be the CEO of their own life.  Very few of us will actually get an MBA, and even the few of us who do, shouldn’t have to wait that long to get the needed skills.

Even successful parents seem to be oblivious to this need.  For starters, we just waste too much time.  According to a Boston marketing firm, the average American wastes 55 minutes a day looking for things they own – almost 14 days a year.  Look at any woman’s pocket book or look at a kid’s backpack (hence, the need for a School Doodle).

A real estate broker friend of mine was going to buy Clothes Doodles for clients who recently bought an apartment.  She wanted to show them the product and she referred them to the Doodle Noodle website (www.doodlenoodlestuff.com) .

One woman said she had a nanny.   She didn’t need it.  The other said she didn’t like to decide in advance what her child would wear.

Both parents totally missed out on a chance to develop their child’s executive functioning in a manner appropriate for a pre-school child.  Here’s an opportunity, even if it’s done with the nanny, to discuss weather events, days of the week, colors and have the child make decisions about what they were going to wear.  It was a missed opportunity to have the child be independent, get their clothes themselves and dress themselves as much as they were capable.

If it rained on Tuesday, rather than on Wednesday when it was predicted, the child could exercise further decision making skill by substituting the clothing.  The opportunity for language development is extensive.  We want to raise independent decision makers, not children who have nannies to do everything for them.

As an educator for over 30 years, I can tell you with assurance, I am not making too much of this.  This is where we should begin.

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