Best of the Web: Let’s value young children as contributing citizens, and more…

Rethinking how we regard young children, the joys of family life living on a bus, and an app that scans your Lego and suggests ideas to build.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

Children are more than just a return on investment

(Jeanne Marie Iorio and Nicola Yelland, Pursuit, University of Melbourne)

This is a thought-provoking article that challenges the way we think about young children. Much of the research that informs early childhood programs and policies is based on the idea of children in deficit, the authors say. There’s a ‘normal’ set of skills they should have, and if not, they need to catch up.

So when it comes to funding, it’s all about a cost-benefit argument. ‘This reduces children’s status in communities and only recognises their importance when they become adults who contribute to the economy,’ write the authors.

Based on their new report, they argue we should view young children as ‘capable, contributing citizens of the now’. They offer important ideas, views and questions.

It’s a powerful challenge to conventional thinking about how we view young children.

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Meet Kevin and his family. They ditched they city to live in an eight-metre bus

(Patrick Wright, ABC Everyday)

The pandemic and lockdowns have seen many city families contemplating a life away from the big smoke, taking a different, less crowded path. Many have opted for regional Australia.

Kevin Craft and his family embraced the idea in 2017, well before our lives were dominated by COVID. He and his wife Cristina swapped their Sydney rental house for a 1992 Hino and hit the road.

Their son Marco arrived 18 months ago, so they are now based in Byron Bay, but are travelling 25 per cent of the year. Both manage to work remotely, and have no regrets about embracing the van life.

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Got a box of Lego bricks? This amazing app scans them and suggests new builds

(Barry Collins, Forbes)

The giant pile of Lego bricks is ubiquitous, delivering hours upon hours of play and associated skill development.

But what if inspiration is running a little short? A new app, available on iPhones, has the answer.

The app scans the pile of bricks and suggests new Lego ideas to build, based on the pieces and colours in the collection.

The author notes that judging by the demo video, above, it seems the app can  identify thousands of bricks in just a few seconds.

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