Dennis the Menace & Our Kids' Freedom To Learn
My children will have less freedom to roam than I did.
This is one of the many unforeseen side effects of this crisis.
I watched 'Dennis the Menace' with my two sons last night.
Dennis wants a bicycle so bad that he will do almost anything to get one.
As is with most resourceful kids, he eventually gets it.
We then see him peddling around town, scheming, wandering, and getting into trouble.
The film was hilarious:
- shooting an aspirin into Mr. Wilson's mouth with a slingshot causing him to gag
- spilling paint into Mr. Wilson's grill and then watching Mr. Wilson barbecuing chicken and noticing that it tastes funny
- accidentally dousing Mr. Wilson with water and flour when he shows up on Dennis' doorstep
The film was also a delightful reminder that many lessons in life are not learned in the classroom.
They are learned from life itself.
Ask almost anyone of middle age or older about their childhood and they’ll start to reminisce about time spent on adventures with other children (often on bicycles), well away from adults.
I’m not the only person who looks back at my childhood and regrets that our children will have less independence than we did.
Their freedom has already been on the decline over the past 50 years for a number of reasons.
But I am afraid that covid will wipe it out.
They will end up being more cloistered with their families and less likely to wander and experiment with friends on bicycles.
I would be very grateful if my sons' school found a way to
- offer them more freedom to play, wander and explore in a safe environment,
- allow them more independence in choosing and pursuing their own interests,
- moderate their sitting at desks and following adults' directions,
- build their self-reliance and curiosity,
- limit their being directed and catered to,
- lessen their reliance on being ranked, judged, compared, praised and rewarded,
- help them take charge of their education and
- teach them how to take charge of their life earlier on.
Is there any way your school can increase freedom for your students; yet keep the learning going?
This would give you a significant advantage.