Thursday, November 18, 2010

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Are you aware of your child's eye strain?  Did you know that current educational advancements are partly responsible for the decline in eyesight among the young?  Yeah, i didn't know either... until last week.

In a routine eye appointment with our family eye doctor, we discovered a few interesting tidbits: children are supposed to be far-sighted when they're young (that means they see well far away, but not great up close); my eldest needs reading glasses; and fifth grade is apparently a typical point when we see children begin having trouble with print, though normally it is temporary.  In discussing this stage of "need them now but probably not forever" with our doctor, we learned something fascinating: the educational system we enjoy in this country is a large contributor to eye strain in the young, which leads to a need for glasses.  Huh.  Seriously?

The doctor told me about a study that was done over 50 years ago in which the Eskimos were evaluated, then educated, then evaluated again, and guess what they discovered?  A people who had PERFECT vision prior to "formal education" experienced massive decline in eyesight over two generations.  Yes, you read that right: just 2 generations!!

So, while i can't advocate going backward in educational standards, or ignoring the advancements we have made in this area, i must ask the question: is late really better than early after all??

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