Somehow Benj Pasek became a success even after dropping out of kiddie soccer.

A Coincidence? Son of “Einstein Never Used Flashcards” Author Wins Oscar (And Gives Funniest Speech)!

Did you noticed the Free-Range Kids’ moment at the Oscars last night? No, not the one where everyone suddenly had to problem-solve on their own and rise to the occasion — just like kids do in free play, the activity we have snatched (like an Oscar!) from them.

It was this moment, as described by Jocelyn Noveck in The azanefezdh

Winners often thank their moms, but Benj Pasek, one of the best original song winners from ‘‘La La Land,’’ had an especially endearing shoutout for his mother. ‘‘I want to thank my mom who is amazing and my date tonight and she let me quit the JCC soccer league to be in a school musical,’’ he said. ‘‘So this is dedicated to all the kids who sing in the rain and all the moms who let them.’’

So just who IS that Free-Range-y mom? Kathy Hirsch-Pasek, co-author with Roberta Michnick Golinkoff of Einstein Never used Flashcards: How Children Really Learn and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less, a book you can pretty much understand from that fantastic title. Hirsch-Pasek also founded The Ultimate Block Party, a get-kids-back-outside initiative that brought over 50,000 giddy people to Central Park its first year, 2010.

What a great reminder that playing is not a waste of time. In fact, it’s the ultimate AP class, when kids push themselves the hardest, learn the most and show us what they are really capable of.

Congratulations to Benj, his family and all those let-them-sing-in-the-rain (or at least go outside in it!) moms AND dads. – L.

Somehow Benj Pasek (left) managed to become a success even after dropping out of his soccer league. Seen here with Justin Paul. (Photo: Wikimedia)


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7 Responses to A Coincidence? Son of “Einstein Never Used Flashcards” Author Wins Oscar (And Gives Funniest Speech)!

  1. M February 27, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

    Totally agree. Monkey with things. Play around. Explore. Hack life.

  2. Paul Hess February 27, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

    He just wants to sing !

  3. mmmwright February 27, 2017 at 5:55 pm #

    Einstein played with building blocks!

  4. donald February 27, 2017 at 6:28 pm #

    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
    Will Rogers

    Therefore if you prevent children from experience life, you prevent them from developing good judgment.

  5. bmommyx2 February 27, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

    very cool

  6. Pippi February 27, 2017 at 10:21 pm #

    All great comments and THANK YOU Lenore for capturing yet another wonderful teaching moment on the benefits of free play!!!! I love this and we need your constant reminders because I’m a pretty hard core free range mom and even i sometimes begin to get sucked into the fear vortex of parenting agendas that exist today.

  7. Katie G February 28, 2017 at 6:14 am #

    The “memorize less” part made me smile because I know I did memorize a lot- by osmosis- by listening to the same (dating myself) tapes over and over, as a child. Thank you Wee Sing, again!