April 14, 2009

Free Range Child

My mom is so sweet. Whenever she see's an article in the paper, or hears something on the radio that she thinks I will be interested in she lets me know.
Today I arrived at her house to drop Pookie off while I work and she told me about a show she had heard on the CBC called "Hurried Infant". Apparently it was about the negative effects of trying to get children to read before they are 5. I haven't listened to it yet, but it sounded like it was pretty interesting. Here is the link. I believe you can listen to the show

It really got me thinking about how I find myself constantly stuggling to find a balance between creating chances for Pookie to learn and experience the world, and allowing her to explore her world in her own time.

It is something that I often think about. Naturally I am a teacher. I have always wanted to teach children, and now with all the reading I have been doing I am finding I need to change what is ingrained in me. Teaching children to dance at the level I teach at is not something you can do in this new modern/ natural approach. Allowing myself to be in the background in terms of the learning process is still quite foreign.

I think at the moment my thoughts on this are to offer toys and experiences which allow her to learn and explore, but to omit any pressure or praise. For example I do point out letters, and have lots of them around but we don't do drills. I try my best to follow her lead in terms of what she enjoys doing, and offer suggestions occasionally without any pressure. I heard a new term today "free-range children" - click on the link to read more.

I have ordered two books which I hope will help me solidify some of my thoughts on this.


Artistmama said...

I so agree, I think we do rush our children in our Western society, Instead of just letting them be and play.

LittlePeopleWealth said...

Yeah, I think kids need to go at their own pace. That said, some kids really want to read before age 5 - you just need to know your child.

The "free range children" term makes me laugh though - it is so close to free range chicken!

I tagged you at www.littlepeoplewealth.com :)

Shannon said...

It makes me laugh too!

Thanks for tagging me.

I find it so hard to find a balance... I am hoping these books help me gain a better perspective.