Thoughts from Dr. Chris Perrin on NPR’s article Scientist Say Childs’s Play Helps Build a Better Brain.
This means that play is preparation and that play is in fact a serious matter. While children must be given a wide swath of freedom (recess should have as few rules as possible, and I think sticks must be legal), they also must be directed and they must be taught. In other words, the classroom and the playground work hand-in-hand. The teacher teaches, the students run outside, their heads full of Latin words, lines of poetry, tales of ships, battles and heroic feats of all kinds; the play back the lessons of the classroom in unpredictable, creative, delightful ways. They learn again, as only a child at play can.
Of course! All those times I
allowed sent the kids to play outside for hours on end, I did so with a strong sense of following this time-honored pedagogical practice. Or . . . perhaps at the time it seemed like the only way to preserve sanity. Whose? I’ll leave it to the gentle reader to decide. Regardless of motive or principle, hours of unsupervised outdoor play was a daily occurrence. And sticks were most definitely legal.
Read the entire article at Inside Classical Education. But first, send the kids out to play.