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Our kids are learning at home in surprising and powerful ways

As parents struggle to decide where their children will be “schooled” this academic year - either in school buildings, at home, or a combination of both - many are concerned about the quality of this learning.

Will it be enough?

And have our kids already experienced the equivalent of multiple “summer slides” after these months of upheaval?

In these times of uncertainty, it might help to consider the learning that has actually been fostered because our kids are spending more time at home. Researchers from a joint Harvard-MIT-UPenn study discovered the powerful effects of conversation on the development of the young brain. They found that the important give-and-take that happens when having authentic conversations with our kids has a profound impact on their cognitive development.

So those many chats over meals (while we try not to notice the mess they are making...oh, the crumbs!) can actually help make our kids smarter. And knowing this will happen often might take a little pressure off of parents who worry that their kids are falling behind. This kind of “baked in” learning is simply a part of a family’s home culture - something that happens naturally, helping our children develop and grow, without us having to “teach” them.


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