My Life of Travels and Adventures: Play + Education Matter

Play + Education Matter

12 December 2014

Let's talk about education and where I am sitting with Reid's.  He is almost three.  These years are both challenging, fun and important.  

This is such a critical time for children's development and here I sit worrying and floundering about.  I worry that I am not preparing Reid in the correct ways or teaching him in the correct manner or teaching him too little or too much.  I am constantly questioning my teaching approach and reevaluating Reid's learning abilities and interests. 

Consider, early education as the foundation all future learning.  But it is so important to remember that play matters too.  Play is pouring that foundation down.  Play is early education too.  

“Play is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein

In playing with Reid and letting him just play, I am teaching and he is learning.  

When Reid lines up his cars he is developing his fine motor skills.  The same skills that he will use to properly hold a pencil all through school.  

When Reid sorts his trains by color or gathers all the round fruit in a basket or puts two firetrucks side by side and says " look, one big and one little" he is learning.  These early math skills will eventually turn into math concepts, that I used to know and love but have since forgotten.  

When we sing silly songs together or read stories he is gaining pre-reading skills.  

And problem solving skills... These usually cause the biggest meltdown, but he eventually learned that tall towers are best built with the largest blocks on the bottom.  

In parenting there is so much emphasis on "earlier is better" but sometimes earlier just means experiences, exploring and playing.  That is the the foundation for further education.  
Now when it comes to education and what is right for Reid and our family, there are so many options available to us. Homeschool, Private School, Public School, etc.  We have options.  We can pick what is best for our family.  Options and Opportunities.  

These options are often taken for granted by us.  But we need to remember that people all over the world do not have the same opportunities.   
The IKEA Foundation is working toward a world where children living in poverty have more opportunities to create a better future for themselves and their families.   The Soft Toys for Education Campaign is a global initiate that involves the entire range of IKEA soft toys and children's books.  

For every soft toy or children's book purchased at IKEA from November 9, 2014 until January 3, 2014, the IKEA Foundation will donate $1.00 to Save the Children and UNICEF.  

Since 2003, more than 11 million children have been impacted through 99 projects in 46 countries.  The total amount donated is $90.4 million.  Last year alone, the IKEA Foundation, the largest global corporate donor to Save the Children and UNICEF, raised $13.6 million

Remember education transforms lives. 

Education is the most impactful way to help children escape poverty.  Education has a direct impact on well-being, from better health to increased opportunities.  It gives children the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to shape a better future for themselves.  

I am so grateful that I have the option to sit here worrying about if Reid is playing enough.  Or what books to read tomorrow.  Or if I should print out more worksheets for next week.  The education options and the learning opportunities that we have available to us immense and truly priceless.  And I need to remember that.  
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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