“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood” – Fred Rogers
I used to believe that I had to teach the girls, and I felt an immense amount of guilt when I “left” them to play, or didn’t feel like we’d done enough structured activities. But after finding our daily rhythm, stepping back, and taking life at a much slower pace; I realise just how ignorant I was before. Play is learning! In fact now I believe that the girls learn more, and gain a greater understanding of the world around them just through playing together.
Some of the girls best learning experiences have come from ideas that developed during play. Our recent project The Borrowers is proof of this. All I have to do as the adult is to provide the stimulating environments, real life experiences and plenty of lovely open ended materials to aid in their play.
I trust myself, and them, that when they are 16 they won’t be illiterate. They will be accomplished in all of the core subjects. Exactly the same as the majority of children who attended school. But I am hoping that by giving my children this magical childhood full of experience, travel, wonder and joy, that they will have a little more sparkle within them, a special zest for life that I am rediscovering everyday that I get to share their learning journeys with them.