Race to Nowhere

In Kindermusik, there are no tests. No monitoring of a skills checklist for each child.  Even in Kindermusik for the Young Child where children are being introduced to musical notation and playing  instruments, the focus is on the process, not the “performance”. Yet, learning is taking place every minute of a Kindermusik class and that learning extends well beyond the classroom time through at home materials and interactions with you.  Kindermusik  provides a gentle guide for your child to explore, to develop skills at his/her own pace.

In our public schools, children are increasingly expected to perform.  Perform on tests. Perform on homework to prepare for tests. At a younger and younger age, children have homework.  For many parents, this is a shift from the way they experienced elementary school. Researchers are beginning to ask tough questions about the emphasis on homework and test scores.  Even if you don’t have school-aged children yet, this is an issue that will greatly impact your family in the coming years.

InJoy Music has learned about an opportunity to begin the conversation around testing and children’s academic lives. Below is information about attending a screening of the documentary “Race to Nowhere”.  It’s free but requires advanced registration to attend.

Race to Nowhere will be shown for free at Prairie Elementary (67th & Mission)  on Thursday, October 18, 2012 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
All you have to do is register to attend (see below). It is open to anyone who wants to come.
The film is about parenting our school-aged children in a test-driven, homework-focused (and often stressful) educational environment. The film provides important information based on research regarding many aspects of our children’s academic lives. It demonstrates how standardized testing can result in too much homework and unnecessary pressure on our children.

Why should we as parents be concerned about the amount and type of homework our kids are expected to complete in elementary school?

-According to a study at the University of Minnesota, the best predictor of better achievement scores and fewer behavior problems is eating family meals together. And the biggest thing that gets in the way of family meals is homework.
-A 2006 national Scholastic/Yankelovich study found that reading for fun declined sharply after the age of 8. The number one reason for this change was too much homework.
-The amount of homework assigned in the Shawnee Mission school district goes up each year your child is in school. By the time they reach high school many kids spend their all their evenings and weekends studying, with no time for family or friends.

Please view the trailer here.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/cdm/84202849/”>darkmatter</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
Posted in New.

One thought on “Race to Nowhere

  1. I’ve long appreciated Kindermusik’s focus on enjoying the *process* of learning and experiencing music. Interesting documentary opportunity, thanks for sharing.

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