Monday, 4 October 2010

Doing too much?

I was sent this article by a friend today and it made me think more about the pace of life we live, breakdown of the nuclear family and all of that kind of stuff.

Formal after school activities are partly the response of society to greater demands on the time of parents who are working hard for long hours, and don't live near the children's grandparents.  Someone needs to look  after the children before they get home from work.  Maybe this is a really middle class view.  Maybe most families don't have both parents working.  Many families are simgle parent families anyway.  I digress.

After school activities could also be seen as a reaction to the idea that we as parents are not doing enough if they leave our children to their own devices after their highly structured school day.  Even when parents are at home, some feel that their time would be better spend doing something which is educational and which involves the intervention of an adult.  Enter the idler.

The Idler suggests that:
We put far too much effort into parenting. If we leave our kids alone, they will become more self-reliant and we’ll be able to lie in bed for longer.
The word idler has many negative connotations today, where the work ethic is often strong and where it is politically correct to stay active, but I think the value of calm unstructured time is well undervalued.

How might it look in 5 years time?
Maybe there will be more play based learning in the classroom...Year 6 children might be working on projects which they have chosen...there might be a cap on the number of hours of after school activities which you are allowed to do...

Food for thought.

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