Informal education works

Regarding the editorial ``Early Learning Power,'' Sept. 19: The Monitor's concerns for three- to five-year-olds are justified but are based on questionable premises. Foremost is the idea, currently fashionable in educational circles, that more education is better. Why should it take longer now to learn basic skills than it did in the 1950s and 1960s when my generation was growing up?

From observations of our highly regarded local schools and direct experience in teaching our own children when the schools could or would not, my wife and I have concluded that the ``formal programs'' of education today - with their crazy quilt of experimentation and rigid lesson plans - are holding back and turning off children.

More and more couples I know are finding ways of adjusting work schedules and ambitions to be at home with their children as much as possible. Let's not sell our children or ourselves short. Anthony R. Schmitt, Springfield, Va.

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