“Grandma! Grandma! There are snakes in the pine trees!” our grandson shouted excitedly running to the house. Knowing that we do have at least one snake I thought to myself, “Drat, that snake had babies!”

So, I grabbed my camera and asked our grandson to show me the snakes. (Yes, I grabbed my camera! LOL) Off to the pines trees we went.

As grandson was pushing his way through the pine boughs, he was telling me to be careful. Once through, He stopped, pointed and said, “See!?”

I poked my head through the pine trees ever so carefully fully expecting to see an active nest of creepy snakes. When I didn’t see anything slithering on the ground, I asked grandson where are the snakes? And that is when he pointed up into the pine trees! “OMG,” I thought to myself growing even more creeped out. I scoured the tree branches up and down. Didn’t see a thing except needleless pine branches.

I asked him again, “Where are the snakes?”

“See! Right here!” he answered pointing to touch one of the bare branches.

“So, this is pretend, right?” I asked.

He looked up at me with a puzzled look on his face and answered, “Yeah.” (Duh, Grandma!)

Then off he ran through the pine boughs toward the house screaming excitedly, “Monster! Monster! Come on Grandma, run!”

Children and their imaginations are wonderful!


“Imagination has no age and dreams are forever.” Walt Disney

“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” Henry David Thoreau

“Play is the work of the child.” Maria Montessori





Why Kids Need Real Play

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” ~ Mr. Rogers

Play is such an integral and natural part of childhood. It is how all children learn. Play was one of the main reasons we decided to home school our children.

Sara wrote an excellent blog post on why kids need messy, free, unstructured, REAL play time. And some tips for making it more manageable.   Check it out at Happiness Is Here: Why Kids Need Real Play 

Real play making a big splash!






In Their Own Way

Our daughter just graduated Salutatorian from a major university!

We home schooled all the way through high school.

I remember fearing our children would never learn to read and write. It seemed as if everyone’s children where reading novels and writing novels while our children where busy with self directed imaginative play and artistic activities.

Our children were what some would call late bloomers.  But were they really late bloomers or did they simply learn to read and write when they were ready physically, cognitively and emotionally in their own way?  In my experience, the later is most certainly more accurate in the nature of how children learn.

Being a parent, you worry; compare your children to those of others.  Seemingly, there is a cultural push to prepare children academically to excel in school at a very young age.  David Elkind wrote extensively about the pitfalls of “The Hurried Child” and the importance of play.

By David Elkind: The Hurried Child, The Power of Play, All Grown Up and No Place to Go, Miseducation, and The Power of Play: Learning What Comes Naturally

As I look back through our home schooling years, I now marvel at the ease our children learned to read and write despite how much I worried. We read to them starting at a very young age and continued to read to them well into their teens.  Books, magazines, newspapers and maps filled  the house and were always accessible to our children.  Because we surrounded our children with the printed and spoken word, they understood the value of  words ~ that words mean things and convey thoughts and ideas.  (They were even in a Shakespeare play as pre-readers, one as the major lead role!)

If you are considering homeschooling or currently homeschooling and worry about how to teach your children to read write and do math, trust your children. They will learn to read, write and do math in their own way given the freedom to do so.  Who knows, they may graduate as Salutatorian one day! 😉

Articles of interest on the subject of “The Hurried Child”: