Letter: Children still need space to play
What is the work of childhood? It is, quite simply and beautifully, play. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this answer when I initially enrolled my daughter into a local preschool, and I have a feeling many of us are the same. Thankfully, my daughter and my family discovered how much that word meant to all of us and how much it should mean to any parent, through CO-OP preschool. Though not necessarily right for everyone, as the time commitment and effort is great, this is where my daughter would grow and blossom to be the best person and student she could be. This was not through daily worksheets but with play – guided, encouraging, safe, comforting and cooperative play. It is a joy to participate inside her – and soon my son’s – classroom to get to know their friends, teachers and other parents more closely and to be able to strongly support my children as they move into public schooling. There is too much pressure to go the road more traveled. You’ll here that “they’ll get used to it,” from school staff, strangers and loved-ones alike. But should our children have to get used to “it” if “it” isn’t right for them? How much are our children learning when they are not in a habitat that allows them to play in the way that they need? Yes, need. To help our children succeed we, as parents, have a responsibility to find what works for them and not to succumb to others’ expectations and standardizations. As someone who has joined Nature’s Pointe Cooperative Preschool and as a college educator, I kindly ask you to take another look at your child(ren) and his or her educational needs when enrolling. I didn’t anticipate that my daughter would have difficulty adjusting to the norm, but I’m so thankful that she trusted me enough to know that I would find another way. She feels secure and confident in herself and has more tools in her school belt because that school and its members accepted her as she is and embraced her need for play. Low enrollment threatens to close many of these types of schools because the power of play has been devalued in education in recent years, but we can’t let that happen. It is my sincere hope that more of our community’s parents and children will find them and learn more about what they have to offer.
Courtney Ke, 46033