Free play is nature’s means of teaching children that they are not helpless. In play, away from adults, children really do have control and can practice asserting it. In free play, children learn to make their own decisions, solve their own problems, create and abide by rules, and get along with others as equals rather than as obedient or rebellious subordinates.
“I offer the counter view: When it comes to processing information, everyone should be the same: A ‘learning chameleon’, able to adapt and use whatever skills are required to optimise the information to be processed. We should not be celebrating and promoting difference in learning styles, we should be challenging children to step beyond their comfort zone and confront their weaknesses. To do that we need to challenge ourselves and do some decent reading and thinking ourselves.”
Eight- to 12-year-old kids are not typically malicious, but they are curious. Kids innocently get into trouble online without thought of consequence. Young kids need to be protected from others, and from themselves.
Teens are another story. They know the truth and they can be mischievous. Teens are faster learners than their parents and they do know more overall about technology. They were born with it.
Unfortunately, there are teens that apply that advanced knowledge to hiding online behavior from parents.
A study last year revealed that nearly half of parents believe their teens tell them everything they do online, while 70 percent of teens revealed they have ways to avoid parental monitoring. In this fact lies the irony.
Teens trick their parents in the following ways:
53 percent = number of teens that clear their browser history to keep web visits off the record
46 percent = number of teens that close/minimize their browser when a parent walks near (to hide the web site)
34 percent = number of teens that hide or delete instant messages or videos
23 percent = number of teens that lie or omit discussing details with parents about online activity
23 percent = number of teens that use a PC their parents don’t check
21 percent = number of teens that use an Internet-enabled mobile device
20 percent = number of teens that use privacy settings to make web content viewable only by friends
20 percent = number of teens that use private browsing modes or proxy web sites (which are free)
15 percent = number of teens that create a private email address unknown to their parents
9 percent = number of teens that create a duplicate or fake social network profiles and share one of them with parents
Many of these tricks can be prevented or monitored.
A great article from Thomas L. Friedman of the IHT
“Every young person will continue to need basic knowledge, of course,” he said. “But they will need skills and motivation even more. Of these three education goals, motivation is the most critical. Young people who are intrinsically motivated — curious, persistent, and willing to take risks — will learn new knowledge and skills continuously. They will be able to find new opportunities or create their own — a disposition that will be increasingly important as many traditional careers disappear.”
Free, unstructured playtime gives kids a chance to discover their interests and tap into their creativity. It’s a crucial element for building resilience in children, an attribute they’ll need in order to become happy, productive adults. That’s Kenneth Ginsburg’s thesis and the core of his book Building Resilience in Children and Teens.
Creativity plays an integral part of developing these seven skill sets. “Play is exactly about learning to control your environment, to figure things out,” he said. “Play is integral to being able to build resilience.” When kids play, they make mistakes and learn how to recover. It’s also a unique time for parents to observe their children and offer gentle guidance about skill development or how to share.
Keeping children on rigid, academically driven schedules denies them the space for some of the real self-learning that will see them through unexpected challenges, the ones that aren’t on the test.
Welcome back to YIS to you all for the final 6 months of your child’s Elementary school education!! Amazing isn’t it.
Lots of things to do and experience between now and then of course. We shall be starting to consider our ‘Home Learning’ again from next week – but meanwhile, you may be interested to read the attached blog post on ‘Homework‘.
I wish you all a very successful, safe and happy 2013