Thursday, June 23, 2016

Go Outside and Learn!

Book Study Week 10: Chapters 19 & 24
Commentary by Scott Wiley

Homework, and testing are two things I have struggled with as a parent more than a teacher. I don't give toddlers homework ~or~ tests.  Our preschool Kindergarten readiness program does under the intent that they need to understand how home work works to be successful in kindergarten.   So when do we draw the line.  Shouldn't kindergarten be a time for naps, playgrounds, coloring outside the lines and story time? 

My daughter was an auditory processor, she needed to be able to read aloud for better understanding.  We didn't figure it out until it was too late to really help her, she just spent the majority of her grade school and junior high school years as an "under-performer"    Homework made us cry every night, instead of being outside playing.  By high school, with her reading struggles,  home work took 4-6 hours.  There was no time for a job, or many extra curricular activities.  She managed to get good grades, and into a wonderful college, but it was a struggle for 12 years. 

"Once a persons childhood is gone, it's gone"  Heartbreaking words, but true.  My husband is a Park & Recreation Director for a major metropolitan area and he gave me the book "Last Child in the Woods" when it was first published, as it was required reading for his staff.   We found the truth of the book to be sad, but reality.  I get my charges outside every day, twice a day when I can, and we have a new playground where there is actually some "nature" to observe and interact with.  Our former playground was a sport court surface in a parking lot. 

I wish I had been a better advocate for my daughter and just said "no" to the homework and taken her to a park instead.  With all I have learned from this book and the commentaries...she would have learned more kicking a ball and doing cartwheels. 

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