A non-coercive environment where people follow their interests is the hallmark of self-directed education. There is no prescribed curriculum or grand plan. Each child, with unique interests and aspirations, determines what they will explore each day. Curiosity, creativity, and the joy of discovery through play are celebrated.
But if kids play all day, what are they learning?
This question comes up often because play is considered frivolous while work is honored. If it isn’t hard you aren’t “doing” anything and it certainly isn’t worth your time.
We know that being forced to learn something that holds no interest through rote exercises does not guarantee that it is retained. Studies indicate compulsory exercises in memorization of colors, shapes, letters, etc., at a young age (preschool) are detrimental and hinder later learning. But the same also goes for the rest of us. If something is not enjoyable, stressful, or painful – our brains have a mechanism that shuts it down.
Learning is natural. Kids want to learn. The best way we (adults) can flat-line any learning experience is to butt in and make it a “teachable moment.”
Back to the question - what are they learning if we don’t provide a structured compulsory curriculum?
These attributes will allow anyone to gather the essential information they need to thrive - in this world. And what one person considers necessary is not universal. At the core of this philosophy is that we celebrate each unique individual with their remarkable skills, talents, interests, and needs.
Next week, I will discuss adults and their role in a self-directed learning environment.
More good news on the fundraising front: Thank you to American Legion Post #79 in Massena for their $500 donation to support our kids.
The Oct. 28th Jamboree is coming together! You will see "blurbs" about it in local papers and events pages. Besides amazing live music performed by local legends, we will have a Halloween fun zone for the kids with games, toys, face-painting, arts & crafts, and treats. Costumes are welcome!
This is a fundraising event with donations accepted at the door. There will be a silent auction, food concession, 50/50 raffle, bake sale, and a craft fair featuring items from our Etsy Store creators.
Please plan on joining us at the Canton VFW!
A few photos from this week:
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