Well, time is on my mind these days. Honestly, it's one of the main reasons I homeschool. So I have time with my children. So they have time to roam, imagine, and explore. So they have time to be best friends with each other. So we all have time to pursue our passions.
Recently, I came across the article, Old Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills by Alix Spiegel. In it, Spiegel shows how play has changed over the last 50 or so years. Play has gone from unstructured, imaginative time to time that is scripted by toys and media.
Dorothy Singer, a psychological researcher at Yale, said the following:
"Because of the testing, and the emphasis now that you have to really pass these tests, teachers are starting earlier and earlier to drill the kids in their basic fundamentals. Play is viewed as unnecessary, a waste of time. I have so many articles that have documented the shortening of free play for children, where the teachers in these schools are using the time for cognitive skills."In another article, written by Lenore Skenazy, entitled The Power of Free Play, the author compares modern day children who participate in many scheduled activities to those with plenty of free time.
Play gets everything going: the mind, the body, the will to live. It is so crucial to child health that the American Academy of Pediatrics released a huge report on it in 2006, recommending that we stop adding hours to the academic day, shrinking recess and supervising all our kids’ activities. It begged parents to remember that even though we desperately want our kids to “succeed,” play does not take away from that pursuit. “As parents prepare their children for the future, they cannot know precisely which skills they will need for the workforce,” wrote the docs. But confidence, creativity, tenacity, problem solving, decency and the ability to have a little fun will surely help.Besides the research, leaders of the Church have warned about having too much going on. In Elder Oaks' talk, Good, Better, Best, he discusses the value of family time.
Again, I homeschool to have time with my family. What is more important than building our eternal relationships and spending time gaining knowledge together that will also be eternal?
The amount of children-and-parent time absorbed in the good activities of private lessons, team sports, and other school and club activities also needs to be carefully regulated. Otherwise, children will be overscheduled, and parents will be frazzled and frustrated...Parents should teach gospel priorities through what they do with their children.
Family experts have warned against what they call “the overscheduling of children.” In the last generation children are far busier and families spend far less time together. Among many measures of this disturbing trend are the reports that structured sports time has doubled, but children’s free time has declined by 12 hours per week, and unstructured outdoor activities have fallen by 50 percent.2 The number of those who report that their “whole family usually eats dinner together” has declined 33 percent.
After all, isn't it about...time?
**This is a post I created for Latter-day Homeschooling. Hope you enjoyed it!**