Daily Archives: September 20, 2013

“Teaching”/”Learning”/”Having” an internal locus of control

It seems intuitive to me that one of the most important things one can do for your kids is to help them to grow up to feel 1) unconditional love and 2) an internal locus of control — namely, that THEY are in charge of their destiny. That it is not luck or bad-luck or fate, etc.

Interestingly, Peter Gray writes about how the importance of internal (vs external) locus of control in regards to PLAY.
Sudbury Valley School has always seemed the perfect place to work/play (what’s the difference?) on this. So my wife and I have made major decisions–there’s that locus of control again–in our life to enable this. Moving to Framingham, working jobs that pay well enough to afford the very reasonable (but not free) tuition. Etc. Not that schools “raise your kids” either… they are obviously learning a lot by example from me and my spouse.

The Decline of Play and Rise in Children’s Mental Disorders
Children are more anxious and depressed than ever before. Why?
Published on January 26, 2010 by Peter Gray in Freedom to Learn

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My Daughter’s Homework Is Killing Me

My Daughter’s Homework Is Killing Me
What happens when a father, alarmed by his 13-year-old daughter’s nightly workload, tries to do her homework for a week

“My daughter has the misfortune of living through a period of peak homework. But it turns out that there is no correlation between homework and achievement.”



Right. Or very little.

Kids are people. Let them choose. If they are stoked on something, let them work on it as hard as they want. If not, why bother? Life is long. My kids, 5 and 8 work their hearts off on stuff they are interested in, usually to the dismay of me and/or their mom — us urgently trying to get them to do something on OUR agenda, like… get out the door for some reason or another.

And it has taken me an embarrassingly long time to realize over the years that when my 5 year old regularly seems like he doesn’t hear me asking him something over and over… it typically is not that he is ignoring me, he literally is so insanely focused on his task at hand that he doesn’t notice my increasingly loud and annoying attempts at getting his attention.

Seen in that light, that’s not annoying, it’s AWESOME.

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Filed under ageism, evidence-based, kids -- freedom and responsibility, motivation, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School