I was told the other day that I should 'expand' my children's opportunities, by enrolling them in extracurricular activities. Which ones? I asked. Oh, they need sports to keep them active, and music to develop math skills, and a hobby to fill their empty time...and expecting that they attend regularly, whether they care to or not, builds character and discipline. However, letting them draw goofy pictures, for an hour or two, does not? Who has defined this activity as 'not learning, whereas being forced to run back and forth kicking a ball for two hours is learning?

I find it ironic that the same people who say that children must be in school to learn, so that the 'repetition' of the lessons helps children learn, are the people who also tell us that we should not let those same children, in their spare time, choose the same activity over and over.

What? How is it that our society has managed, for thousands of years, to develop wonderful intelligent human beings without soccer programs and art classes and choral societies for children?

One of the docents at the museum pictured above asked why the kids didn't have worksheets or notebooks to write down what they learned. I looked around, and asked her which adults were carrying worksheets or notebooks. Of course, none were. I assume the expectation is that 1) adults have learned all that they need to know or 2) adults are smart enough that we trust them to learn what they are interested in. Why can we not believe, TRUST, the same thing for children? Our time there was not wasted because we did not write notes or memorize facts. Everyone found something to interest them, and that is learning enough, isn't it?


Sylvia said...

So, Melissa, tell us how you really feel.

I know what you mean. The whole idea that today would have been wasted because all the boys did is play Guitar Hero, look up cheats (letting them cheat?!) together and very graciously take turns. No, no learning here today -- just play, play, play...

Blessed Wife and Mom said...

Another good one, Melissa.

My kids weren't in school today, but that didn't stop Jacob from learning that people in CA can't drive (haha), some people don't know when to stop staring, and how radiation machines at the cancer center work. I'm sure the girls are learning a lot being at home with Frank too!!!

Alex Polikowsky said...

This was great my friend!

Melissa said...

Sylvia....LOL! You know me too well.

Brandy, hope all is going well with you and Jacob.

Thank you Alex, you are too kind!