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101 things kids learned in 2020

With so many kids' education being radically changed this year, many are wondering what they have "lost" due to this pandemic or how far they have "fallen behind".

If we think of education as linear, moving from the start point of preschool to the end point of earning a college degree, then sure, lots of kids are may not be moving at the rate the government has determined for them. But if we could all, just for a moment, look at it from another perspective, maybe that will help. Maybe we can throw the timeline out the window, forget about the standardized tests, and just take a look at the individuals in front of us. And see. See how they've GROWN.

And what will we see? We will see growth in so many areas. Maybe not in the subjects listed on a report card or transcript. But in areas that are far more important than that.

So let's do it. Let's think about all the things that children have learned this year. Because they have learned more than I could have possibly imagined.

Here's a list of 101 things that children have learned this year:

  1. Adaptability

  2. Flexibility

  3. Kindness

  4. Understanding

  5. Care for elders

  6. Overcoming disappointment

  7. Tolerating discomfort

  8. Growth mindset

  9. Being present

  10. Understanding differences

  11. Protesting

  12. Standing up for beliefs

  13. Restorative justice rights

  14. Equality

  15. Voting rights

  16. Technology skills

  17. Discovering new paths

  18. Simplicity

  19. Connecting with family

  20. Connection with home

  21. Self-advocacy

  22. Empathy

  23. Patience

  24. Unstructured play

  25. Traditions

  26. Learning through everyday activities

  27. Baking

  28. Independence

  29. Emotional intelligence

  30. Diversity

  31. Overcoming grief

  32. Gardening skills

  33. Selflessness

  34. Respect

  35. The importance of boredom

  36. How to use the internet

  37. Sibling connection

  38. Responsibility

  39. A new skill or craft

  40. Perseverance

  41. New chores

  42. Navigating friendships

  43. A new interest

  44. Sharing

  45. Making things for others

  46. Innovation

  47. Time telling

  48. Pet care

  49. Importance of rest

  50. Self-control

  51. Local history

  52. Local plant life

  53. Self-care

  54. Tolerance

  55. US government procedures

  56. Home exercise

  57. How to contribute to the family

  58. How to do laundry

  59. Effective arguing

  60. Effective apologizing

  61. Navigating anger

  62. Zoom skills

  63. Virus vocabulary

  64. Electoral process

  65. Importance of good governance

  66. Handwork

  67. Calendar skills

  68. Seasonal changes

  69. Holiday celebrations

  70. Independent reading

  71. Independent play

  72. Letter writing

  73. Email writing

  74. Appreciation of postal workers

  75. Appreciation of essential workers

  76. Home care

  77. Plant care

  78. Importance of alone time

  79. Meditation

  80. Gratefulness

  81. Working towards a greater good

  82. Collaboration

  83. Playing an instrument

  84. Personal hygiene

  85. Research skills

  86. Care for neighbors

  87. Typing skills

  88. Online gaming

  89. Online learning

  90. Drawing

  91. Cooking

  92. Organizing

  93. Goal setting and reaching

  94. Planning/making a meal

  95. Writing stories

  96. Keeping a journal

  97. Handmade gifts

  98. The benefit of audio books and podcasts

  99. Helping with home improvement projects

  100. . Hand washing skills

  101. . Care for others

This is just a small portion of an infinite list. I'm sure you have another 101 things you can add. So let's give our children the credit they deserve after a year full of immeasurable growth and accomplishment. Let's stop this talk of falling behind and instead recognize that the whole world is experiencing this together. Let's see beyond the academic subjects. Let's recognize that learning and education isn't just about math and reading and science and that our children are going through a pandemic. Let's forget about grades, forget about tests.

Let's honor the learning that HAS happened. And appreciate the growth that is right in front of us. Because it is A LOT. And if we do that, we couldn't possibly think that any child has fallen behind anything.

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