Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Most Important Room In The House

Braeden started school this week... homeschool. (Yes, Virigina, we'll discuss this development in a later blog post. Chances are pretty good that some of you now are wondering if I'm a right-wing survivalist nut with 2 years of food in my basement & an "enemies list" which includes the president of the local PTA. I'll give you a hint: we don't have a basement & the only thing I'm stockpiling is Pop-Tarts.)

Anyway, one of the books Shari is reading on teaching basic skills is The Three R's by Ruth Beechick. The following passage is from the section entitled Real-Life Arithmetic:

GAME AREA: Is this your family room, kitchen table, or living room rug? Wherever it's located, you must have this. We list the game area first, so you will read it even if you don't take the time to read the rest of the list. We cannot overemphasize the importance of games for growing children. Much arithmetic is learned as children count moves, compute scores, take turns. but that is only a fraction of the benefits. Numerous thinking skills are developed as children learn to operate within various kinds of rules, plan strategy, and so forth. Sportsmanship & other social skills gradually develop. When children later learn that rules don't have to be rigid, they can develop new twists and live by their own agreed-upon rules. One fifth grader develped an insurance system to accompany Monopoly. He calculated the chances of a player landing on Park Place with a hotel on it, and other expensive events, and balanced this against money he could collect as players pass Go. Then he sold insurance against expensive contingencies. Players could purchase various kinds of policies and make installment payments each time they passed Go. This is complex for young children, of course, but the point to notice here is that years of game experience lead to advanced thinking skills & creativity.

I think Ruth Beechick is one very cool lady... and it's great to hear someone acknowledge clearly that the educational power of games goes beyond teaching facts & practicing math skills.

Plus, it's a great excuse for having a dedicated game room & a growing game collection, right?!

6 comments:

Nord said...

We started homeschooling Taylor last week. Its fun to observe. She is like a little sponge, soaking in the knowledge. Maybe Janell and Shari could swap stories sometime.

Chris Lewis said...

We are looking at the same for our little one, but we have 3.5 more years...

Every day I become more convinced of the absurdity of entrusting the government with educating my child.

Scott said...

storing pop-tarts...I don't know why, but that made me laugh out loud.

mark aka pastor guy said...

What's so funny about that, doctoral boy? They're tasty, they come wrapped in foil to seal in "freshness", and you can eat 'em "raw" or "toasted." It's like a survival kit in a small colorful box!

Yes, I am a sick, sick junk-food addicted man.

GodFix said...

I really have nothing of value to say here other than "Hi Mark!". Pop tarts are good. In fact, I think Pop Tarts are the ultimate perfect food. Followed by Taco Bell.

Scott said...

hahaha...I'm not making fun of anyone for eating pop-tarts. It's just the way it was phrased was funny. I'm picturing someone actually stocking up for Y2K (anyone remember that?) and choosing only to stock up with pop-tarts. How quickly would we all get sick of them if that's all there was to eat? Maybe not too quickly if we had good diversity though. Blueberries, strawberries, s'mores, and they have to be frosted too. :)