We just completed the first 2 months of school and students are settled in a working productively.
An interesting idea arose a few weeks ago, when a mom told me that her child felt bad that he/she couldn't draw realistically at age ~8.
As a teacher I am clear in my appreciation for realism and desire to have students develop the focus and perseverance to try to build skills for accurate rendering.
BUT when children work at drawing from a still life or realism, their work has a certain charm. Children hone in on certain details and "interpret" the object, often with a strong drawn line and bold style. Their work is great to look at and interesting in its inclusion of some detail, and absence of other features.
I love it.
Please know that photographic realism is never the goal with children; not only is it not a reasonable expectation developmentally, but would be missing the beauty of the childrens' interpretations of the world around them.