Saturday, September 22, 2012

Lessons for Kids

When I was a kid (longer ago than I want to say) some kids took music lessons and girls might have dancing lessons. Lots of us belonged to the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or Campfire Girls. Religious classes and activities also took up some time.  There were no organized sports or after school child care and even most of us whose mothers worked outside the home were cared for by relatives or neighbors. Of course we had chores to do, but homework in grade school was mainly studying for tests or finishing something we hadn't done in school and seldom took much time.

All those things only took a few hours a week and once school was out kids were free to go out and play.

Lots of the activities kids participate in today are good for them.  Learning things like how to play an instrument and being physically active in sports will benefit them in the long run.

But it's too bad today's children can't ever play without adult supervision. We used to use our imagination and pretend while we played until we were ten or eleven years old. Now most kids stop that sort of play by the time they're in first grade and only escape into imaginary worlds by playing video games. 

But there's one way kids can still exercise the creative part of their minds; they can read. Once kids can read fluently books can take them anywhere and they're much more likely to become good readers if adults read to them a lot. And even older kids can participate in family times when a book is read aloud and shared by everyone.

So if you have kids please, please, find time to read to them.


Kai Strand said...

It might be where you live that reflects the habits of kids. When we lived in So. Cal, kids were very scheduled outside of school hours. So we moved to a small town and my kids played outside - freely and safely - throughout their elementary school years.

That said, you are right. They need to exercise their imaginations and reading is a great way to do it when other options are limited.

Janet Ann Collins said...

I'm in a small town now - population about 10,000 - but maybe yours is smaller. And we're a tourist area so maybe that makes a difference. The kids who live out of town on farms do have more freedom.