One of the (many) things I’m having to unlearn in this homeschooling journey is the idea that learning=classroom=paper,pen&book=teacher in front of class, etc. I’ve had to discover what learning is all about and am continually forming my idea of what I want our education to look like.
Anyway…..one of the things I keep on having to be reminded about is that one of the most crucial things in each childhood development is play! As much as I try to make all our learning fun, I can get so caught up in the seriousness of it all . And as much as our kids probably have more play time than most (no travelling to school, only 3 hours of school, 4 days of “school” a week, no homework, etc), I have to keep on reminding myself to create more of a “play environment”.
Research everywhere tells us that Children Need To Play & Play & Play, and yet I think we are more inclined to direct instruction (I know I am) , and we also want to put worksheets, exams and devices infront of them, because we think that’s more valuable and gives them an advantage.
Was so grateful to be part of the Play Africa* talk yesterday, which was ironically about coding and computational thinking (but the presenter was mainly emphasizing all the various skills that children should learn through play in order to prepare to grasp coding)
All in all, I just left there reminded that our kids need to play, man. And also, they are only kids for so long…they have the rest of life to adult
“Play is the chief vehicle for the development of imagination and intelligence, language, social skills, and perceptual-motor abilities in children” Fromburg & Gullo
“A growing body of international research shows play can spark imagination, enhance creativity and problem-solving capacities, promote teamwork and instill empathy and compassion for others” – Play Africa brochure
And Albert Einstein himself was a huge fan of play “Play is the highest form of research”
*Play Africa is a children’s museum that creates inclusive learning spaces where children and families can play. Look them up and go visit them…they are at the Constitution Hill, I will hopefully do a review of their space soon 🙂