What can we do as parents?
Last week, I came across this post on facebook talking about how school is failing the kids:
I have to admit that I totally agree with it. Why are we asking young kids to sit quietly and concentrate at something that doesn’t interest them? Really!? Kids should be able to play or at least learn while playing for the first couple of years.
I tend to be in agreement with the Finland educational system. Did you know that it’s recognized to be one of the best in the world? Well, in Finland, kids don’t start school until they turn 7 years old, when they are biologically ready to be able to concentrate: before that, they are playing most of the day! Even in school, they have approximately 90 minutes for recess, and approximately 4 hours of class time. They start school around 9am and finish around 2pm. They don’t have homework until well in their teens. It’s almost shocking how different it is from our school system, but remember, they score better than us in a lot of different area.
So what can we do as parents, to make sure our kids are able to be kids, even in a school system that demands so much from them!?
Well first, don’t overschedule them. They need time to goof around and decompress from their day, as adults need to. Limit your child to two activities per season.
Secondly, we should close the tv/computer/ipad, etc. and give them time to play! And I’m talking about unstructured play (not art lessons, and hockey practice). Give them time to be kids, to play like kids (like getting dirty with mud, splashing around in puddles, etc.). While playing with other friends, neighbours, etc., they will learn how to enter into relations with others, how to deal with conflict and how to respect other peoples’ ideas (some kids will need guidance: be there to help your kid with what they should do and say).
Finally, get involved in their games: pretend play is a perfect set up to teach so many life skills without really “teaching” them! HAVE FUN in their world!