One of the phenomena of the technology age is that email and texting have replaced letter writing for many teens and adults. While these methods of communication are convenient and save time, there still is a certain delight in finding a “real” letter in the mailbox. Writing letters is becoming a lost art as well a lost opportunity for children, and is a skill that, even in tomorrow’s world, is still beneficial to master.
Our collective belief that the social curriculum is just as important as the academic curriculum led The Experiential and Lower Schools at Shorecrest to embrace Responsive Classroom Approach.
If children are to grow up to be independent, capable of making wise decisions, and to understand the consequences of their actions and choices, they need to start developing those skills at a young age. Children need the experience of making choices, including those that are important to them. This does not mean that they must always be given a choice, and they definitely should not be allowed to make decisions about matters beyond their experience. They should, however, be encouraged to make simple decisions between acceptable alternatives such as whether to take a bath or a shower or which shirt to wear.
Board games such as Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Trouble and Connect Four, and card games such as Go Fish and War, teach children to take turns, patience, perseverance, focus and sportsmanship. It is important to learn both to win with grace and to lose with equanimity. Focusing on the moves and plays of others helps children increase their attention span as well as to develop memory and learn to strategize. We play board and other games at school to teach these life skills as well as to reinforce concepts and skills.
Black Friday ads were full of items mostly related to movies, television, and the like. Many of these toys are long on commercial appeal but fall woefully short on promoting the development of imagination, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and motor skills!