The Fessy Den Blog

‘Play is the Work of Childhood,’ but is it Beneficial?

Play is the work of childhood

For most adults (unless we’re very lucky), “work” and “play” tend to be separate pursuits. We work at a job. We play with our children. But as psychologist Jean Piaget notes, “Play is the work of childhood.” Mr. Rogers elaborated: “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But...
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The Gift of Boarding School

It’s OK to say it. We’ve heard it before, and you’ve probably thought it: “Boarding school? So young?” Maybe you’ve wondered, “Why do parents do it?” Or even, “What did he do wrong?” As a parent, you only want the best for your child, and approaching the question of boarding school from a thoughtful, engaged...
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Character Education in the Age of ‘Selfies’: Why Core Values Matter

Character in the Age of Selfies

Independent or private schools have a distinct advantage over public schools in at least one key area of curriculum: character education. Character education is an intentional and purposeful focus on helping children develop positive qualities and values. It’s about encouraging them to do the right thing even when no one is looking. While the definition of the...
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The 10 Things Every Pre-K Teacher Wants Parents to Know

10 Things Pre-K Teachers Want Parents to Know

1. He’s capable of so many things. As a parent of a Pre-K boy, you may sometimes feel you’re caught between toddlerhood and boyhood. You provide for your son, and you provide well. But it’s important to remember how much he is capable of, and what he’ll show you if you let him. We strive to do...
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3 Signs Your Child is Thriving in Junior Boarding School

Any parent of a child in boarding school can attest to this fact: You don’t stop worrying about him, even after the admissions and enrollment processes are complete. (Does any parent ever stop worrying about his or her child?) There are dozens of benefits to boarding school, and you’ve made your decision, in part, by...
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Is Your Child Overscheduled?

It goes without saying that participating in after-school programming is good for children. Playing a musical instrument broadens brain development, engaging in athletics teaches teamwork and sportsmanship, and joining clubs can foster new friendships and adventures. Children are often given a broad range of activities from which to choose, and the temptation for parents is...
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What Teachers Learn from Students

Any teacher worth his or her salt can tell you stories about inspirational students–and there’s something special about the independent school experience that creates these inspirational moments on a regular basis. Perhaps it’s because so many independent schools place a special emphasis on values. Whether they call it ethics, character education, or something else entirely,...
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