A Montessori teacher friend of mine, Meag, has started on a new path, and will welcome her first class of children to her Nature School in the fall.
I was invited to her home last weekend, and we had such a great time catching up and chatting about her new plans, and how she decided on opening her own school.
It sounds so amazing, and almost makes me wish I had a little one to send to her school. It's an outdoor, Spanish emersion school for pre-school and Kindergarten. The children will be outside the entire time. She became a Cedarsong certified Forest Kindergarten teacher, and I can't wait to see her school grow.
As we dined over a delicious lunch she had prepared, we discussed was how things are going for me with homeschooling. I shared with her how important I believe unstructured play is for all children. It's partly why I've been hosting the play group that meets at our house once a week ranges in age from 8 to 12. It started out as a structured environmental outdoor day camp, but when the camp ended I invited participants to continue to meet here for play day.
If my child were in a regular school, he would be in middle school, and what I've heard is that there isn't recess for middle school. They have PE classes, but not unstructured free time.
I think it's a real shame. I don't expect kids in that age range (11-14) to want to play the same way that children in elementary school do, but I believe unstructured play and free time are so important to our psyche.
It's just one of the many reasons I love to homeschool. I can provide my child with plenty of time to explore outside whenever he wants to do so, or we can go out for a hike, or just take a small break to spend time with the dogs, cats, or chickens. Being outside gives us a chance to process what we've been working on, get some fresh air, and relax and have fun.
Homeschool is so awesome!