Sacramento Homeschool Math By Hand

Sacramento Homeschool Math

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Go Outside and Play!

May 28th, 2012 · No Comments · Homeschool Math Curriculum

Homeschool . . . one of its many perks is more free time to play.  Playing outside was once an unquestioned staple of childhood.  TV and computer time have sadly encroached on this very healthy impulse.  As a child I was often encouraged to “Go outside and play.”  I wore a skate key on a string around my neck at all times, ever-ready to clamp on my shoe skates and go flying down the street, an asphalt playground, since our block dead ended in a lush, overgrown railroad trestle.

Other favorite activities were endless games with a pink rubber ball, jump rope, hopscotch, and of course collecting fireflies, kept in a jar with a vented lid and a few blades of grass, and released back into the “wild” the next day.  In contrast today, indoor play most often involves a screen, with mouse-clicking the only physical exercise.  The resulting decline in the overall physical health of our children is startlingly steep.

It’s been well documented that many Americans, including children, are overweight.  And the statistics for the accompanying rise in Type 2 diabetes in children is staggering.  The good news is that this and many other health problems currently plaguing children are preventable (and reversible) through changes in diet and exercise.

Play is indeed a key ingredient for effective, creative learning.  Our best and most renowned scientists said that play was the foundation of their most amazing discoveries.  Albert Einstein said, “Play is the highest form of research.”   And, “It is nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of education have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry . . . It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.”  And, “To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play . . . ”

So aside from the fact that vigorous outdoor play is the remedy for so many ills, it hones the senses and the critical imaginative forces that are indispensable to a successful education.  Play should accompany learning itself as well.  Playful, child-friendly curriculums like Math By Hand can be effective deterrents to the sort of fears that stand in the way of true academic success.

Nature is another sadly untapped resource for today’s children.  Her great book of secrets teaches as no other book (or TV or computer) can.  Peter  Macinnis quotes some favorite passages from Rudyard Kipling as an exhortation to explore nature close-at-hand, in your own backyard!

Curiosity is the best teacher.  As Kipling says, “I keep six honest serving-men / They taught me all I know; / Their names are What and Why and When / And How and Where and Who.”  Macinnis follows with a detailed account of how your children can explore in their own backyard.  Read all about it here:

And go outside and play, it’s all out there!

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