My daughter just turned 5 and is in Prep this year. She is a strong minded, confident, sometimes sassy little girl. Some say she is a natural born leader and at the same time she is caring, sensitive and creative. When sending her off to school this year I was anxious about how she would settle in. Socially and emotionally I felt she was ok but academically all she wanted to do was play.
Of course she wanted to play! She was 4…only 4 and still has so much to learn through play. Her teacher and teacher aide are fantastic, and a strong supportive teaching team. They have so much pressure on them and so many bench marks to meet that there is not much time for play. Aside from lunch breaks they “Play” in the afternoon session on a Friday and this is only if all their weekly work is complete. This blog post presents an interesting argument about play.
Why is Australia getting it so wrong??
Last year they moved the cut off date for entry into prep from the end of June to the 31st of July. These kids are still babies, our babies are expected to sit still and follow instruction for long periods of time when they should be climbing trees, or developing maths concepts through playing shops, or experiences texture through making mud pies.
We ought to take a lesson from Finland! Their students don’t start school until the age of 7, they have a mandatory 15min free-play break and