When kids are taught in rooms of twenty or thirty, a lot gets glossed over.  Teacher doesn’t often notice whether Bobby makes his O’s clockwise or Susie adds the tens place before the ones.  These seemingly harmless oversights not only set children up for failure — Regrouping is coming for you, Susie! — but they also lead to a culture of “close enough.”

At home, develop your child’s ability to attend to detail.  In Charlotte Mason homeschooling, parents build this skill through asking children to notice and describe the world around them, particularly on regular nature walks.  You can do this any time simply by asking your child what they see, inside or out, in books or works of art, at the grocery store or at church or wherever you are.  Our three-year-old loves the Where’s Waldo? books.  It’s rare that he finds Waldo, but he sure notices a lot of other interesting things!

The goal here is to give your child an appreciation for nuance and precision so that, unlike most kids, your kid knows that a panda is not a bear, that the US Civil War was not a civil war, and that understanding these subtleties changes how we interact with the world.

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