Where’s the play?

So many of us are caught up in worrying what our child has scored in their latest test or if they are up to a higher level than someone else in their sight words or home readers.

But is this undue pressure that society has unnecessarily placed on us? I believe that it is.

Young children need to play and be free.


There is mounting evidence about the importance of play and how much children learn from just playing. There is also mounting evidence about the stress and worry that many children feel from being over tested or over worked after school hours.

How can parent’s help to ensure that their child is learning yet also playing?

– Skip homework some afternoons and play at the park, go for a bike ride or see a friend. Do something that is fun. Children learn through fun and adventure so much more than they will from staring at homework they do not want to engage in. Even children who love doing homework will still benefit from getting out and about.

– Don’t compare your child to others. Don’t worry who is reading at a higher level, receiving more certificates or finished their homework by Monday afternoon.

– Talk to your child’s teacher about the testing regime. With more parent input perhaps this testing culture will fall to the wayside. Testing is an important part of teaching as teachers can gather data BUT there seems to be a lot more testing than is necessary and many children do not perform well under pressure. They perform better in relaxed and unplanned situations.

– Learn in context. There is no point rote learning words or number skills as they mean nothing. Get outside and learn those number skills, read signs whilst out and about and read more books to learn more concepts.

Read books, borrow books and share books – books settle the soul, stir imagination and ignite creativity.

 – Tell stories and dream together.

 

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