Thursday, January 17, 2013

Homeschool Thursday: On their own

Our week is filled with piano lessons, swimming, yoga, and homeschool group, as well as any play dates with friends, trips to the library, book clubs and grocery shopping that needs to be done.  The kids have daily chores as well as a few weekly "have to's"--school work including some math practice, handwriting, reading, and history to be completed in the course of the week.  Before, after, and in-between (and sometimes in place of) all of this they settle into games or projects of their own.  As I've mentioned before, we tend to follow a sort of  tidal rhythm with our schooling, at times being more intentional with our studies, and other times being more relaxed in our approach.    

A few days ago a friend was telling me about the language in one African region where the words for work and play are the same.  That is such a powerful thought, and I've been trying to imagine our society functioning with that mindset.  With adults headed out to "play" as they commute to offices etc.  Though I suspect that those who find their work among animals, working the soil, or learning with children understand this view point a bit more clearly.  Children know instinctively that work is play, and play is work, and most of the time when we stay out of the way its what they do on their own that is most valuable.

However, I tend to notice that having the regular practice of handwriting, for instance, makes my children more confident and comfortable in their writing.  When we are in a regular routine of doing copy work, they are more apt to add writing into their play spontaneously.   Basic understanding of math concepts, as well as the mastery to solve simple problems as they arise lead to invented games involving math, as well as the ability to play board games and card games independently.  And so I tread carefully.  Respecting their play as work, but also encouraging work as play.  Most of the time this feels just right.


Kale and the snow chicken 

Juni's homemade paper dolls

Robotic Legos

Negotiating rules to an invented board game

1 comment:

  1. This is very inline with Montessori. In the Montessori classroom the children's play is referred to as their "work". I hope to find work that I consider "play" in the future.


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