Saturday, March 6, 2010

Recess And The Outdoor Classroom

I am so fortunate that my good friend and neighbor also Otherwise Educates her children. We do lots of activities together, including recess. If we didn't have her children for my children to play with, my children would be even weirder and less socialized than they already are.

Friday was beautiful here in windy OK. It was much too pretty to be inside, especially given that we have been cooped up for months thanks to an unusually cold, wet winter. It also happened to be Thing 4's 8th birthday, and who wants to do school work on their birthday? So, the kiddos headed outside for a longer-than-normal recess and some outdoor learning.

(By now you know that she dresses herself, yet I still feel compelled to publish a disclaimer.)

While I believe that children need adult directed teaching, I also think that children need time to be children and to do what children are created to do...that is, to learn by doing. Children's lives today are much too scheduled, structured and adult-led. I love to see them doing their thing without parents interfering.

Kids learn a lot when they play with each other and adults leave them alone.

For example, on Friday, these boys learned that if you're having a RipStik competition and the little sister of one of the competitors is the judge:

...chances are she is going to award, at her discretion, a bonus point for "politeness" and her brother will win the competition. Very important life lesson, doncha think?

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