Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review December 21, 2012/ 8 Teves, 5773

'Extreme Coaching' for Two-Year-Olds --- At $2500 a Month!

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the hilarious 1989 movie "Parenthood," Rick Moranis plays an obsessive father of a preschool-age daughter. He insists that his little one be drilled on high-level math and experience an otherwise intellectually enriched environment for hours a day. He is concerned about any interaction she has with the younger nieces and nephews in the family who are "average." Who knows how they might slow her down?

This was laughable at the time. But, apparently, not anymore.

Welcome to the latest in early-childhood education. And I mean "early": schools for the infant-to-2 set. Some of the schools go for more than $2,500 a month. Really. Such schools in New York City were the subject of a recent Wall Street Journal piece, "It's Now a Grind for 2-Year-Olds," by Rachel Louise Ensign.

"Parents now — and this is a real sea change — they understand the infant-toddler years as learning years," Betty Holcomb of the nonprofit Center for Children's Initiatives told Ensign.

Ensign went on to recount the long waiting lists for such schools. Meaning, a woman had better toddle over and sign up in her first month of pregnancy. Literally. Ensign writes that there is a "surge" of interest in such high-priced centers, with their guided curriculum and, often, teachers with master's degrees in early education.

A body of social-science research from the 1990s, arguing that the first three years of life are crucial to later cognitive development, is fueling a lot of this, Ensign reports.

Neuroscientists have since countered that the typical loving parent gives the typical child all the "enrichment" he or she needs in those early years. That Beethoven and flash cards add nothing, cognitively speaking. "The Myth of the First Three Years: A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning," by John T. Bruer, Ph.D., is a good review of the science refuting the "new" conventional wisdom.

Still, one mom, apparently jumping on the trend and eschewing her affluent peers' passion for the traditional nanny, told Ensign, "One-on-one care from a nanny is great, but are they trained in getting my child to certain milestones?" Her baby is 4 months old and enrolled in a new Children's Creative Learning Center facility in Manhattan.

For thousands of dollars a month, I'm thinking that baby had better darn well reach her "milestones" — like sitting up, crawling and saying "da-da" and "ma-ma" on time. Good thing those teachers with their master's degrees are on the job, and not just some nanny or — gasp — a mom. Otherwise, who knows where that child might end up?

Oh, good heavens.

Admittedly, I'm coming to all this from a more relaxed perspective when it comes to school at any age. I like to say that my ultimate goal for my children is "heaven, not Harvard." What I don't talk about so much is that this works out really well for me because it doesn't appear I have any children on their way to Harvard.

Might things be different if only I'd started flash cards on them at an early age?

"Not likely," said Patricia Dalton, a respected clinical psychologist based in Washington, D.C., who often addresses parenting issues in her practice. She told me, concerning the trend in super-early pre-schools: "This sounds like extreme coaching for 2-year-olds. And since when has that been necessary?"

The problem is, this might not just be a waste of money, she said. She believes that the stress placed on toddlers may be too high of a price to pay in the end for the parents' ambition.

Phew. I haven't missed out. And neither have my kids, it seems.

In "Parenthood," Moranis' character comes to his senses. His daughter is allowed to enjoy being a little girl, after all. Too bad that's make believe. This latest educational trend made me realize, once again, that truth is very often stranger than fiction.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



BUY THE E-BOOK FOR $0.99

Click HERE to purchase it. (Sales help fund JWR.).

JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

Betsy Hart Archives

© 2012, Scripps Howard News Servic

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles