What did you learn today?
Is every day at school productive?
Adele Hamilton, Editor Parent24 (Tammy Gardner)

'So what did you learn today?'
When my older son started school, I would often start a conversation on the way home along these lines. It was fascinating to hear about the themes they'd studied in preschool, and later the new words he'd learnt in Afrikaans or Xhosa.

Now that he is in high school this question is likely to be met with a cynical snort, perhaps because he knows that much of what he learns would be incomprehensible to my middle-aged brain that no longer remembers much about sequencing or chemical bonds.

And I've learnt to accept that learning isn't so much about that new nugget of information as it is about processes and ways of approaching problems. Fact are always there on Google, but you have to be able to make sense of them.

It requires a different way of learning than when we were at school trying to shovel the capital cities and main industry of every country into our brains.

Joel, aged 10, now turns the question on me more often than not: 'So what was new at work today, Mom?'

Here are some more of our thoughts about school and learning:

What is school for?
Smarter than a preschooler?
The kid with three brains
Talking to teachers
40 years at school

Do you think that school has changed since you were there? Your schoolyard memories could win you a limited edition Parent24 T-shirt.

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