It reminded me of a recent experience with Tani and an inspection of the contents of his backpack...
Tani is learning in an anthroposophic learning environment where he and his 13 classmates learn through experience, movement, art, etc... He knows all his letter and numbers up to 13 (they just started numbers a few weeks ago), he creates phenomenal drawings based on the readings of the weekly Torah portion, and he can sounds out words that he sees with ease. Yes, Mom, I know you think he's exceptional - but you're biased, ok? His classmates are on par.
He doesn't get homework. About a month ago Yoram realized that Tani's backpack was really heavy and we wondered what's inside it? It's not like he's lugging textbooks and binders like his public school counterparts... so we asked him to show us.
"Oh," I said, "exactly what a six year old should have in his backpack!"
The full inventory:
- a small green towel from his pre-school graduation (always know where your towel is!)
- several rocks of varying shapes, colors and sizes - he also told us the names of some of them, such as flint and basalt
- a collection of sticks
- some bits of crayon
- his case of colored pencils that I embroidered with his name (by hand! didn't know I was that talented, didja?)
After reading the above post, I was so thankful that my kids have more fun with rocks and sticks than with digital apparatus. And can I put in a shameless Golan Aliyah plug here? It helps that we live in a town where the kids can go play outside themselves, where the prominence of digital play pieces is extremely low, and where we have lots and lots of nature and animals 10 minutes walk in any direction!
Thanks for the inspiration! And thanks for sharing the post, Lenore, @FreeRangeKids!