Trust The Children

Monday, October 09, 2006

Play Makes Education At Home Easier

It sounds too simple, but I have discovered again it's truth. The simplicity of it is probably why it is so elusive. However, let the heavens ring aloud... The work of a child is play. I first heard these words from Pat Montgomery many many years ago at a WHO convention in Tacoma Washington. My Microsoft son, called tonight about yet another article saying that children need more play. I didn't find today's article yet, but I did find the following:

(click) Play Time Fun must be a big part of the school day. By Trish Konzak

(click) Children Need More Playtime

(click) Good news for kids: Doctors advise more play Youngsters between 5 and 16 need to be active for 1 1/2 hours a day

And for those who say, "But Mark, these articles are really more about physical health than education I offer:

(click) Children Need More Play!

I quote: "We know that active play improves school performance, concentration, mood and behavior....
Current recommendations for children are clear: an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day. How much do children actually play at school? The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has monitored 3rd graders at 10 different study sites across the U.S. The astonishing results, published in the February 2003 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, should be a call to action. Children averaged only 25 minutes per week of MVPA at school -- compared to a total of at least 420 minutes per week that children need. We need to change our schools! In the meantime, one of our most important jobs as parents is to get our kids moving. Active play is fun. It’s also fundamental to healthy minds and bodies."
Alan Greene MD FAAP

And then this:

(click) Pupils 'need far more' play time

Games complement the curriculum, a study finds
Pre-school and primary school children are missing out on "vital" playtime in the classroom, an academic has warned.
Professor Pat Broadhead of Northumbria University found the amount of time left for games had been cut by changes to the curriculum in England.

Working towards tests at age seven had had a "knock-on" effect on reception classes and pre-school groups.

The study of schools in Leeds, Sheffield and York said play helped problem-solving and social skills.

"Play-based learning gives children a sense of independence. It's a chance to explore and investigate the world.

"Children also determine the ways in which they work and use their experiences to solve problems."

Prof Broadhead said activities such as sandpit games, playing with model figures and using building blocks, had been ignored because of growing emphasis on literacy and numeracy targets.

She added: "Play contributes to all aspects of development. I hope it regains its prominence in future.

This goes along with an article I wrote some time ago citing Sylvia Ashton Warner's concept of "Breathing Out...Breathing In".

The idea that little children are "schooled" not when they play, but when they are being actively instructed by someone is not completely accurate. Once again, children learn by observing and experimenting and interacting so much more than we give them credit for. Let them play, and give them the credit for learning before you give yourself credit for teaching. It just works better that way.


Post a Comment

<< Home