In Defense of Online Kindergarten: Katherine Mangu-Ward in Slate on Digital Elementary Eductaion


Today at, Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward urges parents to give online education a chance for their elementary school education:

What most people envision when they think of online education—a college or high school student sitting at a computer all day at home, perhaps with minimal parental guidance—isn't viable for the vast majority of families with young kids. Warehousing is a dirty word in education circles, but the truth is that it must be part of the package. Kids need somewhere to go during the day, preferably to hang out with other kids. They also need a bunch of adults there to keep them from killing one another and help them learn something.

But those requirements leave a lot of room for experimentation. And one of the most fruitful avenues is blended learning, in which kids do some of their schoolwork in a traditional classroom, but then do real educational heavy lifting with the help of online tools.

Read the whole thing here.

NEXT: NYPD Has It Backwards on Photography

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Freddie DeBoer
    Mangu-Ward is a paid in full libertarian and Koch devotee, so it’s not surprising that her article is so biased and full of inaccuracies.


  2. Kids need somewhere to go during the day, preferably to hang out with other kids.


    1. because people are social creatures and they need to learn how to act around others. Of bigger import is someone actually putting on paper an alternative to the tried, and now failed, system of public ed. More such alternatives need to be spoken of out loud since what we have is clearly not working.

      Somewhere, though, I think the real answer to your question is, “because I need a break from the kid and all his/her questions. They’re cutting out my gym time, lunches with the other stay at homes, shopping, etc. Don’t I have a right to govt-paid day care, even if they call it school?”

      1. because people are social creatures and they need to learn how to act around others.

        They don’t need to do it during the day, locked in a room with other people who happen to be the same age they are, while getting 1/30 of the attention of an education major.

        1. that’s why I added that the more likely reason behind the comment you pulled was the desire for state-paid daycare.

  3. Um.. millions of people homeschool. The socialization thing is so not an issue. Most of the homeschoolers I know use one or more online components (among other things) and are so social it’s a good thing it only really takes an hour or two a day to learn what kids at school learn in a whole day. It’s efficient! And fun. And you can snack and go to the bathroom, too.

  4. Digital Elementary Eductaion

    Would it be gauche to point out that “education” is misspelled in the headline?

  5. Mason turned 11 today. Day camp ended a week ago and (home) school started back up. He is studying the SAT prep. I usually make him spend around 4 hours a day but I have high expectations and it is still much less than socialism practice….I mean public school. Some of it is just reading. He liked Anthem but I don’t think he is quite ready for Atlas Shrugged or Wealth of Nations. He is about 2/3rds through War and Peace.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.