"Play is the work of childhood." - Mr. Rogers
Last week I had the privilege of working alongside fellow educators from our school to present to Moms Connect, a group of young moms with children up to age five. Our topic was setting a strong foundation in the developmental years. We began the presentation by teaching these young moms the importance of a strong developmental foundation for their children, which will then lead to a more well-built academic house. It was invigorating to teach these moms that cultivating auditory, visual, motor, and language skills is easily done in everyday life with everyday items in their home. If we just helped a handful of moms by introducing them to play-based learning, we accomplished much and invested our time well.
As Cheryl Kaywood, Wendy Williams, Karen Dills, and I prepared for the presentation, I was reminded of a few things that set us apart as a school:
- Perimeter School is blessed with a faculty that possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience. I was inspired by listening to these three educators share their passion and expertise in the area of early childhood education.
- Perimeter School gives our students in lower elementary a wonderful gift of half-day school, which even includes recess. Because of our half days, our kindergarten through second graders have the opportunity to spend much of the afternoon learning through playing. Of course, the type of playing that I am referring to is imaginative, outside, or unorganized play. To this day I do not regret giving my sons these few years of extra afternoon play. The value of those days is immeasurable.
- All of us at Perimeter School need to share and explain openly what we know to be best for the child with others who are searching for education for their children. If they are thinking about preschools, encourage them to look for ones that are focused on developmental play rather than driven by academics. Perimeter School believes that there is much more to learning than paper, pencils, and text books -- especially in the early years.
What I shared with these young moms, I would like to share with you. God has created each of us in His image, and we are created persons. Children are not blank slates, but persons who yearn to be taught spiritually, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. This teaching all begins when the child is born, and God equips us for the task. As parents we will make mistakes, and we will not do it perfectly. However, by calling on the Holy Spirit daily to give us wisdom, guidance, and creativity, we can do our best and encourage others on the same journey.