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Middle school is hard because it's the point at which parents are cut out of the educational system, either by virtue of their not being able to be helpful (e.g., they can't do algebra or speak French either!), or by the child (through mis-directed rebellion or overzealous DIYishness).





At some point, parents have to be cut out. A child wanting to handle things more independently from parents is not a bad thing - learning to do it independently is important. What you call "mis-directed rebellion or overzealous DIYishness" is them reaching developmental milestones.

A school system that requires extensive parental help is bad system.


You’re right, of course, but ImaTiger wasn’t saying that parents need to be there forever, just (I think) partly (and, I think, correctly) answering the question of why MS is hard. Some things that are good for you are hard.

>A school system that requires extensive parental help is bad system.

Although I think I agree with the thrust of this (children need independence), I suspect the original intent was not so much direct help as cultivating an environment conducive to independent success. Like the difference between trying to grow a flower and trying to build a flower.

Of course, children eventually also need to be able to do this independently, but speaking for myself at least I didn't really appreciate this facet of education (nor was I in a position to do it for myself) in middle school.


Most 7-12 grade teachers I know would be much happier if the parents weren't involved at all in the kids education. All of the dozen or so secondary teachers I've talked to who left the educational field gave the exact same reason: "The parents."

You are making an unwarranted conclusion from this comment. Is it merely that the parents are there or not there? Could the parents be there in a more helpful capacity? Clearly just “the parents” is not a reason for anything.

An observable consequence of such dependencies is the degree to which income and academic achievement are "inherited", in the sense that kids with richer or better educated parents have more than a leg up.

Academic achievement is inherited like height, not like religion.

> The heritability of conscientiousness facets and their relationship to IQ and academic achievement

https://www.pnas.org/content/111/42/15273.long

> Genetic research has shown that intelligence makes a major contribution to the heritability of educational achievement. However, we show that other broad domains of behavior such as personality and psychopathology also account for genetic influence on GCSE scores beyond that predicted by intelligence. Together with intelligence, these domains account for 75% of the heritability of GCSE scores.

> The high heritability of educational achievement reflects many genetically influenced traits, not just intelligence

https://genepi.qimr.edu.au/contents/p/staff/CV448.pdf

> Our findings confirmed positive associations between IQ and the facets of Competence and Dutifulness (ranging 0.11–0.27), with academic achievement showing correlations of 0.27 and 0.15 with these same facets and 0.15 with Deliberation. All conscientiousness facets were influenced by genes (broad sense heritabilities ranging 0.18–0.49) and unique environment, but common environment was judged unimportant.


In my opinion, the inheritability of intelligence and any other mental factors is largely exaggerated. It's impossible to differentiate between genetic and environmental factors in Human populations, mainly because people with the same genetic background tend to have the same environment. And yes, if you compare twins, raised apart, but in the same nation, maybe even city, probably same social class, same health and educational system, then you are left with a genetic influence of, for example 75%.

While academic achievement western societies still isn't as much determined by individual skill as many people would like to believe, it's worse in the countries the immigrants come from, and additional factors like language barriers and discrimination (intentional, structural or even accidental) render the idea of inheritability quite useless.

Another problem is that studies have identified environmental factors which influence intelligence much more than any known individual genetic factors. For example infections with Malaria or other parasites, but also the duration and quality of school attendance.

You will notice that none of the "twins raised apart" studies include such factors, because virtually no children in western societies have these problems.

And that's why the impact of the education system and socioeconomic factors on academic achievement are vastly underestimated, especially because people keep bringing up these inheritability studies.


On the one hand it sounds great to let parents participate in their children's academic education, but in reality such participation is a hard requirement for success.

And that, in turn, disadvantages students with working parents, or with parents that don't have the skill or experience to guide them to higher achievement.

It may sound awful to trust "the state" to handle education independently, but the alternatives are usually worse.


Or, frankly, parents that can't be bothered.

One of the most important epiphanies in my life was realizing that some parents don't care at all about their kids, some are jealous of them and actively sabotage them and that some systematically abuse them for entertainment.

It is also why I'm get angry when people push others to have children; many people should not raise children.


I'm really careful with such judgments. Humans generally love their children. If it doesn't look like that, there are other factors involved, usually alcoholism, other substance abuse and mental illness.

Meaning: They would care more for their children if they had the energy and power to do so. And some of those will also rationalize their inability to spend the energy as not wanting to do it.


And in many cases, parents are fully aware the homework that requires their help did not had to be at all and has zero educational value. Parents know said homework exists only to force them to "be involved" and resent it. As much as you try to pretend you are enthusiastic yadda yadda, the afternoon evening was killed with crappy project that really does not look like having educational value.

Is that a thing? There is homework where parents should be involved by the design of the task?

Are you confident that parents spending time with their children like that is not valuable? Especially now in the era of 6hr/day YouTube and fortnite?

Parents spending time with their children is valuable. Parents modeling compliance to pointless busywork with minimal effects on educational achievement is not.

Absolutely it is not valuable.

Parents spending time with kids over activities that are mutually pleasant or just talking or doing needed activities are valuable. Third party organized nonsense that just needs to be done has no intrinsic "time together" value.

And in case of bad parents, it puts the kid at mercy of bad parent even more.


This claim is way too general. I do not know your definition of success or higher achievement, but I'd say I was quite successful with zero involvement from my parents and saw numerous cases of the same.

If the state is going to be inserting itself, I'd rather the state stay away from Harrison Bergeron forcing rich people to be less educated and productive, and focus on taxing excess wealth to redistribute to children and poor adults who want to work.

What if public school is awful, and the only reason it looks decent is that some parents are picking up the slack? What would happen if you cut those parents out of the system?


My father still gave me a ride when I was in 8th grade (14(



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