This morning I was watching Today Show and they shared a story about how children who are over scheduled are not developing correctly. Some of that development is not knowing (what I feel to be) common knowledge information. Over-scheduling children is not allowing them to have the free time that they need to learn on their own. It may also be keeping them from being successful on their own.
As a teacher I’ve heard several reasons why students need to have the team building outside of school because in the classroom students are just study, learn, sit and other non-physical activities. Parents want their child to be able to work well with others and I agree, but I know some students who are in football, then wrestling, then basketball, then swimming, then baseball throughout the entire year. Some kids never get a break.
Now, I know that we can’t just blame parents for not allowing play. Recently there have been several articles about Finland allowing free time during the school day for kids to play. So schools do need to allow more free time. However, in most schools the test scores are low, so they take away that recess time.
How do we go about changing the mindset of Americans that free play time for kids is healthy. When I was a kid I was told to go outside and play. Were there times I was bored? Heck yea! I would go inside and say I was bored and my parents would say, “Go outside and find something to do.” They didn’t hold my hand and find something for me, they made me go away. I had to become creative and learn to play on my own.
I’m not trying to blame anyone here, I’m just sharing that I feel kids need more free time. They need time to just play and be kids. Heck, even adults need more time to just play and have fun. When was the last time you went and threw around a football? When was the last time you played with an empty box? When was the last time that you were creative and not just sitting in front of the television?
The paintings above are what I did this past week. I want to have color in my classroom this year and so I’m trying to create pieces of art that also have some math in them so I can turn to them when needed. It’s time to be creative. It’s time to have free time. It’s time for EVERYONE not to have such busy schedules.