Thursday, May 7, 2009

Play v. Work . . . both can be enjoyable

When I read Peggy Orenstein's article "Kindergrten Cram" about homework for five-year olds and looked at the amount of time schools are devoting to academic work and free play, I was taken aback.  Note the diagram to the right, which was presented as part of her article.

In my own life and in the life of children in a Montessori setting, I see work and play as one in the same.  Children are forever learning through discovery.  If you have ever witnessed a Montessori preschool class which is made up of 3-, 4-, and 5-year olds, you would see children engaged in their work . . . as if they were at play, creating, chatting, and moving about busily constructing words and sentences, or manipulating numbers, or learning practical life skills, or . . .  Often I walk into a classroom and I think, isn't this wonderful, children busily engaged in their work that they are enjoying.

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