Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thoughtfulness Thursday: Growing up

You know when you pray really hard for something for your child and you really want it? Well, I've been praying for months that E would get into this church school (3 half days/week) next year. I really want him to have the social interaction and to thrive. I also think he needs structure, because let's be honest we don't have assigned times for things (other than lunch and nap). Well, it's hard to get into the school because lots of parents like the school and so I was really nervous about him getting in. Well, a couple of days ago I got the call...he got in! I'm over the moon excited, but also sad. He will go to school on days that I am at home. Which will be such a blessing for me because then I can get the house cleaned, laundry done and errands run before he gets home...and then when he gets home, we can play! But it makes me sad at the same time because my little boy is growing up. I might have shed a few tears when I thought about him going to school and enjoying it more than being at home with me. Selfish I know, but I want to keep him little forever.

Which got me thinking about an article I read: Give Childhood Back to Children. Have you read it?

I'm not trying to start a heated debate by any means...I'm really not, but I do want to bring up the fact that I think it's important to play. I love this quote from the article:

"The most important skills that children everywhere must learn in order to live happy, productive, moral lives are skills that cannot be taught in school. Such skills cannot be taught at all. They are learned and practised by children in play. These include the abilities to think creatively, to get along with other people and cooperate effectively, and to control their own impulses and emotions."

I was just thinking the other day about playing. I chose to keep E at home with me this year while a lot of his friends went to a school program (most just 2 days a week). There's something about having to go to school the rest of your life that makes me want him to enjoy the time he has at home. I mean, I understand that kids need to learn social interaction and their ABCs, but what about fun?!
"All young children are creative. In their play and self-directed exploration they create their own mental models of the world around them and also models of imaginary worlds. Adults whom we call geniuses are those who somehow retain and build upon that childlike capacity throughout their lives. Albert Einstein said his schooling almost destroyed his interest in mathematics and physics, but he recovered it when he left school. He referred to his innovative work as “combinatorial play”. He claimed that he developed his concept of relativity by imagining himself chasing a sunbeam and catching up with it, and then thinking about the consequences. We can’t teach creativity, but we can drive it out of people through schooling that centres not on children’s own questions but on questions dictated by an imposed curriculum that operates as if all questions have one right answer and everyone must learn the same things."

This quote rings true to me. It seems like the creativity my brother and I had when we were kids is gone in the generation now. What happened to going outside and playing in the woods, building forts and coming in at dinner time? Now kids play video games and computer games more than actually being creative. I understand that there are things kids can learn from these games (and I'm not saying that E will never be allowed to play them), but I want my kids to GET OUTSIDE and have fun!

"No, our children don’t need more school. They need more play. If we care about our children and future generations, we must reverse the horrid trend that has been occurring over the past half century. We must give childhood back to children. Children must be allowed to follow their inborn drives to play and explore, so that they can grow into intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically strong and resilient adults. The Chinese are finally beginning to realise this, and so should we."

All this said, I know part of having a kid is that they grow still makes being a mom hard. I'm treasuring every second until August.


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