Play is Back

16 Sep


With school in full swing, I thought this was a good time to share this short post.
I am getting serious on you but don’t worry regularly scheduled programming will return as soon as possible.

A while back I had the pleasure of listening to a fantastic author and researcher named Kathy Hirish-Pasek. She spoke about her book Einstein Never Used Flash Cards. Not only was she funny and energetic but a wealth of information on the subject of how our children learn. It was as if she was speaking directly to me, I breathed a sigh of relief for my school days past and my daughters future.
School for me was an endless struggle of failing miserably and succeeding superbly. Trying to fit inside a box of purple and white dittos, smelling the wet ink feeling the frustration before I even tried. Sitting in endless math classes feeling lost and knowing summer school was in my future.
I hid in the art room, throughout my years in middle and high school I retreated to the art room where the familiar smells of tempera and clay welcomed me. I was good at art I thrived there, I received praise there I was smart there I succeeded there.
My daughter at the wise age of five loves to play, make up stories and be in her fantasy land as much as possible. I do not feel the need to drill her on flash cards or force her to stifle her creativity. I was worried about her academic prowess. She is learning through her play they kids are designed for that, have you ever seen a four year old able to sit still for more that 10 minutes? Drilling her with flashcards may put my worries at ease but it is about her not me right? Hirish-Pasek says, ” putting children in a rigid structure as young as two or three can create anxiety, hostility and fear.” They need us their parents not tutors, she also states that, “children as young as nine are experiencing anxiety attacks,” that is an outrageous statistic. We want our kids to be creative thinkers not robots, the system is an endless snarl of red tape and test scores, not designed for individuals but fore the group.

What does this have to do with food and your child you ask? Well, Hirish-Pasek is passionate about learning through play, touching, exploring, imagining and more and so am I.
Let them play and teach them while they are comfortable and relaxed. If your child needs to brush up on letters, serve alphabet soup. If they are having trouble counting, count and stack carrots, teach it out of context and see what happens. Our kids don’t have to struggle just find out how they learn best and follow their lead.

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