Skip to comments.The Serious Need for Play
Posted on 06/14/2009 6:37:07 AM PDT by JoeProBono
Free, imaginative play is crucial for normal social, emotional and cognitive development. It makes us better adjusted, smarter and less stressed.
Childhood play is crucial for social, emotional and cognitive development. Imaginative and rambunctious “free play,” as opposed to games or structured activities, is the most essential type. Kids and animals that do not play when they are young may grow into anxious, socially maladjusted adults.
On August 1, 1966, the day psychiatrist Stuart Brown started his assistant professorship at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, 25-year-old Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the University of Texas Tower on the Austin campus and shot 46 people. Whitman, an engineering student and a former U.S. Marine sharpshooter, was the last person anyone expected to go on a killing spree. After Brown was assigned as the state’s consulting psychiatrist to investigate the incident and later, when he interviewed 26 convicted Texas murderers for a small pilot study, he discovered that most of the killers, including Whitman, shared two things in common: they were from abusive families, and they never played as kids.
One study found that kids who played with blocks scored higher on language tests than kids who had no blocks. Perhaps the children with blocks simply spent less time on unproductive activities such as watching TV--but the end result was good for them in any case.
I remember disappearing for hours with my friends and my brothers playing, riding bikes, having fun with mostly just our imaginations. Things certainly have changed!
“they were from abusive families, “
is probably the more telling factor.
Sometimes you can’t fix a broken person.
Still, I hope all the kids in the world get a lot of good play time in today.
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Free play was the **MOST** important benefit of homeschooling.
Formal homeschooling only took about 2 hours out of our child’s day ( More than 2 hours for me, though). The rest of the day was spent in loosely supervised free play.
It was fascinating to watch how the intense and highly focus play projects ( that could continue all day, weeks, or even months) of my children gradually transformed into their intense and highly focused adult work.
Also...How can children learn to focus if they are interrupted every 20 to 40 minutes? They learn that the clock is more important than their work.
I played with blocks alot, but was only an average student.
"Whitman was the eldest of three brothers and was raised on South L Street in Lake Worth, Florida. As a child, he was extremely intelligent, scoring 138 on an IQ test at age 6, and attended St. Ann's High School in West Palm Beach, where he was a pitcher on the school's baseball team. He took five years of piano lessons and enjoyed playing with toy guns". - Wikipedia
I’d be interested to hear something more about how you went about homeschooling your kids, curriculum, etc. We’ve always been impressed by how well our son plays. (He’s 5.) I’ve often wondered what the purpose of it is, but of course he only knows that he is having fun. Recently he’s been trying some little experiments, so maybe it’s leading somewhere.
Too many who are looking into homeschooling are freaked out about what “curriculum” to use.
Don’t sweat it. Read to them, spend time with them, teach them “as you walk along the way”.
You might look into the philosophy (not the “curriculum”) of “Five in a Row”.
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