A week or so later his teacher reported triumphantly that Charlie willingly engaged in academics. We would eventually move Charlie back to public school because he requires more structure.
If we are to take children seriously, and not just apply the model of edutainment to education, it will be with a realignment of the ways in which we think about learning itself.
I'm often asked what works in education. After starting and leading public schools in Texas for nearly four decades, my response is straightforward: Start young, involve parents, empower children in their own development and be patient in fostering their eventual success.
In a very real, almost palpable sense, accelerators harken back to the forgotten days of apprentices, where the long afternoons of tedious practice spent toiling in the hot afternoon sun were rewarded by the cool breeze of Olympian-Inspired dreams captured by the main nightly event.
When faced with an opportunity to grow our educational app company, Montessorium, in the heart of Silicon Valley, or try to keep it in our hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, we were confronted with a rather arduous choice.
As we looked at the calendar, and started to plan the week, we wanted to make a special note of Maria Montessori's birthday. We found ourselves wanting to celebrate, to wish her good tidings and spread her joy of learning through a birthday card.
When traditionalists threatened to discredit our Montessori school because of our involvement with digital education, Steve Jobs sent us an inspirational note. "Don't be discouraged by the traditionalists," he wrote. "The parents and kids will prove you right. Just keep going." Upon reflection, that advice has never seemed more relevant, or more important.
All sides of the vitriolic public education debate are missing a fundamental point: our changing society presents new challenges that require us to fundamentally rethink our concept of school.
Are smaller class sizes the key to breathing new life into today's public schools, or a misguided effort to solve the problems of a dying era? I am surprised to say I have come to believe it's the latter.
I've breastfed and I've formula fed and I double dog dare you to be correct when you tell me which child is which.