Albert Einstein once said, “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.”
With more information available from more sources than ever before, parents today are faced with the most puzzling of conundrums: What is best for my child, early literacy and numeracy — or should I just let them play?
The free Community Parenting Education Series, offered by the Cedar Valley Waldorf School, has some key answers.
Celebrating its 10th year, CVWS offers the series to interested parents, grandparents, caregivers and teachers Mondays from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the school.
“We want to help provide insight into the development of the child. What we talk about is not just for parents of our school, it’s for anyone who deals with children,” said Christine Martin, principal and kindergarten teacher at CVWS. “The more we understand child development, the more we can help to gently awaken, nurture and strengthen the child.”
“Educating a child, at home and at school, is a great task and can be challenging at times, it demands that parents and teachers have a deep understanding of the child.”
Part of that understanding, according to Martin, comes from allowing and encouraging an aspect of childhood that many took for granted but now seem perilously threatened: play.
For parents who are inundated with messages about children falling behind and not being “kindergarten-ready,” the notion of encouraging their little one to dress up or play knights and princesses over flash cards and practicing their letters can be anxiety inducing. However, Neville Scarfe, dean emeritus of the faculty of education at UBC, backs up the idea of free, unstructured play.
“Play is vital to all humanity. It is a human research activity. Play is the finest system of education known to man,” Scarfe said.
The education series takes place at CVWS at 38265 Westway Ave. It began Oct. 1 and continues Oct. 15 with The Significance of Rhythm in a Child’s Life. That is to be followed on Oct. 22 by Discipline That Doesn’t Divide by Neufeld parent educator Nina Fields. Call (604) 898-3287 or email email@example.com
for more info.