Friday, March 05, 2010

Playing to learn...

A friend, Susan, pointed a group of us to this article from the NY Times called Playing to Learn.  As a mom who home schooled her five children from beginning through high school graduation, my heart cheers to read this article which encourages a playful  approach to the elementary years --promoting hours of reading aloud to children and  listening to children read aloud, having discussions with children and giving children time to write about things that matter to them, letting children count things (all kinds of things) and observe nature rather than making endless scientific word lists that are quickly lost after the test.  The ideas shared in the article are very similar to the way I taught my own children so I'm naturally ecstatic that Susan Engel, director of the teaching program at Williams College, would have supported my brand of teaching.   I would have taught this way no matter who thought it right or wrong, but it's nice to hear and goo to know that there are fresh ideas in educational circles today.  I would love to see the public schools adopt the ideas offered by this author.


  1. I agree. This year I've encouraged my students to read and read and read. Every afternoon, there are books scattered all over the classroom and I happily pick them up.

  2. While I'm very happy with Our Fine School, I will say that the lure of homeschooling for me is the time to read and read and take long walks in nature. It just seems like such a great way to learn.


  3. Well, you know you and I are on the same page. But it is wonderful to read what others have to say xoxoxo Clarice

  4. Read and Read and then read some more. I drilled that into my kids. And science was everyday just go outside and there it is...Good for them! Kids can't be put into a box in IMHO. All are different and need to be taught differently. We could be called homeschooling unschoolers.
    We did and do the book thing, but experience teaches you so much.


  5. Pom Pom,
    I love, love, love hearing about your reading at school. God bless you for instilling the love of reading in those sweet kids.

    As an author yourself, I know you value reading at your house. Home is the best place to nurture the love of books, no matter where you are educated.

    I so agree that all kids are different and all learn differently. I found that true amongst my own kids. One wanted a textbook and one wanted a novel to learn about English History. Go figure.



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