For the second part of my blog series, I want to talk about kids just being kids. With all of the hustle and bustle of life and the pressure we put on our kids to learn, our children miss out on the simplest yet most important thing in their younger years, being a kid.
I think the idea most of us have about school is you sit at a desk and learn from the teacher and/or through a book. I think we forget that so much can be learned from making cookies, playing in the mud for an hour, having endless conversation, and just being a kid.
The Innovation School allows kids to learn in an environment where kids get to be kids. They get to be creative, play, have fun, and learn in a loving, calm, and safe environment.
When I first walked into The Innovation School, I was surprised not to see any desks or tables and chairs but bean bags, couches, and pillows. I was curious and intrigued with the idea. I remember having my concerns about recess, because at the time the school didn’t really have an area for playground equipment. Sebastian is a busy kid with LOTS of energy. I knew he needed recess time to expel that energy, and I was concerned that without items to climb all over and a big area to run that he was not going to get out the energy needed and his learning would suffer.
When they explained to me that when kids are not required to sit in a seat or desk all day, they have less built up energy to burn off. As well as, when children don’t have all the playground equipment it allows their minds to be creative.
I was mind blown by this, because I grew up in public school and always had to sit at a desk, not on a pillow or beanbag, and always had an area with playground equipment to play on. I also remember the dread I felt almost everyday having to attend school.
I will never forget the first day we picked Sebastian up from school and he fell asleep on the way home. This was a child that would fight to go to sleep. He did that for quite a few months before he adjusted. He was worn out every day. Mentally and physically. He was able to expel the energy he needed just by being a kid.
I think we forget that there are more ways than one to learn something. You don’t need a worksheet and a book to learn math. I remember someone at the school once told me, “A relaxed and calm mind easily learns.” So creating an environment where kids just get to be a kids, it takes the pressure off of learning and allows them to learn in a healthier more natural way. In a way that they enjoy (my kids love going to school), and in a way that the information actually sticks!