The Importance of Being Little Book Summary, by Erika Christakis

Want to learn the ideas in The Importance of Being Little better than ever? Read the world’s #1 book summary of The Importance of Being Little by Erika Christakis here.

Read a brief 1-Page Summary or watch video summaries curated by our expert team. Note: this book guide is not affiliated with or endorsed by the publisher or author, and we always encourage you to purchase and read the full book.

Video Summaries of The Importance of Being Little

We’ve scoured the Internet for the very best videos on The Importance of Being Little, from high-quality videos summaries to interviews or commentary by Erika Christakis.

1-Page Summary of The Importance of Being Little

Overview

Childhood is short. Before long, the children will become adults with a lot to attend to and many responsibilities.

Children are meant to be happy and curious. They should have fun exploring their world, but they’re not allowed to anymore. Preschools force them to learn things when they should be playing and having fun.

Here are the main points to remember when discussing why preschool matters. You’ll also learn which professions earn as much as teachers and why teaching young children how to read a calendar is pointless.

Big Idea #1: Modern preschools aren’t suited for the natural skills and curiosity of children.

If you could go back in time 50 years, you would see kids having fun and playing around. However, if you were to visit a preschool today, the children would be studying math and grammar.

So, what is different?

In the past, teaching was very strict and rigid. Preschools today are much more uniform than they used to be. In fact, preschools in the United States have been mandated by Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

For example, the Common Core Standards say that kindergarteners should be able to “demonstrate command of grammar rules.” This means that children aren’t being taught how to learn, but rather are expected to know everything from day one.

The problem with the current system is that it doesn’t work for all students. It ignores individual needs, and as a result, kids don’t get enough attention or help to learn what they need to know. The system also creates clear distinctions between those who succeed and those who struggle, which means some people miss out on opportunities because of their grades in school.

The American preschool system is not working, but it’s still in place. This is because the curriculum has changed over time and now serves a different purpose than when it was first created. For example, there wasn’t much of a need for preschools before 1980, as women didn’t work outside the home very often; however, after that year more women began to enter the workforce. Preschools became popular at this point because they were seen as daycare centers rather than rigorous learning environments like they are today.

However, the gap in achievement between rich and poor has been increasing over the past 30 years. The result was a lot of legislation that was passed to try to close this gap.

In order to close the achievement gap in society, this law was created. It implemented a strict curriculum for all preschoolers so that they would have similar skills.

Big Idea #2: Preschools have adopted teaching styles built on the needs of adults, not children.

In a business meeting, you will see people who are quiet. This is because they’re all adults and not children. If you go to a preschool in the US, you’ll probably see the same thing—adults being quiet while kids play around them. Preschools today are meant for parents’ needs instead of the children’s needs.

Parents are becoming increasingly worried about the safety of their children, which is why they want preschools to be safe places. Parents now have access to more information regarding public health, so they know that sitting around quietly can actually be dangerous for kids.

Like this summary? Want to learn more from books than ever? You'll love my product Shortform.

Shortform has the world’s best guides to 1000+ nonfiction books and articles. Even better, it helps you remember what you read, so you can make your life better. What's special about Shortform:

Sound like what you've been looking for? Sign up for a 5-day free trial here.

The trend of putting kids in front of computers and television has resulted in a 57% decrease in the accidental deaths of children aged one to four. However, this has created a distrust for child-centered learning because parents think it’s unsafe and inefficient.

Not only do parents want a lot from their children’s education, but they also expect more than what the current system offers. In fact, studies have shown that lower-income families who aren’t educated themselves are opposed to play-based learning. Instead of play, they prefer academic curriculums because they think it’ll better prepare their kids for future success.

The Importance of Being Little Book Summary, by Erika Christakis

Enjoy this summary?

Subscribe to get my next book summary in your email.