I like to think back to the times when my children were happiest at school.
As I remember all the experiences of my four girls, I invariably think of their time at Kindergarten. This is where they learnt to explore the world outside home in any sort of formal environment. They learnt about getting up with anticipation and expectation to the day’s activities at kinder. What would be in the room today? What will I paint? What colours will I explore today? What will I make? Who will I play with? Of course four year olds don’t have words to put to these thoughts but they have the thoughts anyway.
Kinder looks very messy and haphazard. But behind everything that happens is a plan. Put out a new coloured paint this week. Encourage Elissa to explore different shapes today. Someone noticing what each child is doing and taking notes about their progress and things they need to do to challenge them.
All these things prompted by a view of education in which children are voracious learners eager to explore the world around them without being told hour by hour, day by day, week by week what they should be learning.
Kindergarten is our childrens’ last opportunity to learn freely whithin a formal enviornment.
In these days of standards and national curriculum guidelines let’s celebrate this one year where children can just be children.