Category Archives: kids — freedom and responsibility

Exposure and/or Passions

“A simple maxim: don’t expose and don’t look for passions; just listen and make good suggestions”

“I have found over the years that things that make me angry give me a passion to fix them.”

“… They should be passionate about getting a job someday.”

– Roger Schank

http://educationoutrage.blogspot.com/2014/02/help-your-child-find-their-passion.html

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See also: “Forget Following Your Heart – Follow Your Heartbreak”

http://www.angelamaiers.com/2013/09/forget-following-your-heart-follow-your-heartbreak.html

See also: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/08/turning-passion-on-its-head.html

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Filed under education, jobs, kids -- freedom and responsibility, meaning of life, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, work

Remembering how to play as an adult

Two quotes about people reconnecting with what they like to do by thinking about what they liked to do when they were kids and PLAYED!

“Try to remember the way you saw the world when you were a little kid, and practice it. This will help with the guilt, since kids never feel guilty about playing, and it will also keep you from getting too spiritually stagnant.”
— Ran Prieur

http://ranprieur.com/advice.html

“So one of the things I wanted to do [after stopping work at google] was think about what I liked to do when I was little and to do more of that. I had heard somewhere from someone that that’s a good way to figure out what you like and what you are good at. So, I spent more time doing things that I liked to do a long time ago.”
— Ellen Huerta Interview: Why I Left Google

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Filed under ageism, freedom, kids -- freedom and responsibility, meaning of life, play, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, work-life balance

Kids’ free play correlated with social “success” as adults

New research from Germany finds people who recall having plenty of free time during childhood enjoy high levels of social success as adults.

Free time as kids was also linked with high self-esteem and the flexibility to adjust one’s goals.

Noted at:

http://www.psmag.com/navigation/books-and-culture/value-unstructured-play-time-kids-81177/

The original research article (abstract and free PDF download of article):

http://www.epjournal.net/articles/does-playing-pay-the-fitness-effect-of-free-play-during-childhood/

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Sudbury Valley and Free Kids related links – 5/15/2014

When Adults Take Over Children’s Fun

http://www.freerangekids.com/when-adults-take-over-childrens-fun/

“Schoolification” of Sports (from the unschool subreddit)

http://www.reddit.com/r/unschool/comments/25evsw/schoolification_of_sports/

Interview with Hanna Rosin (news report video)
“The Overprotected Kid.”

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/parents-let-kids-take-risks/

A Useful Reminder: Louis C.K. Was Bad Before He Was Good

http://calnewport.com/blog/2014/02/26/a-useful-reminder-louis-c-k-was-bad-before-he-was-good/

“I could see that the experience of meeting her was confusing to many of them. They were at the conference in support of learning through play, but here was a young woman who really had learned through play—through true, self-directed play, without coercion—and they found it hard to believe. I wish Nina had been invited as one of the principal speakers.”

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201405/can-lego-help-return-play-children-s-lives-and-education

The (Mandatory) Science Fair….
“Parent1: You mean I get an A on his science project?”

http://hanaschank.blogspot.com/2014/05/stupid-shit-my-kids-do-in-school-vol-1.html

How to find the perfect job… from Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) http://www.lifebuzz.com/mike-rowe/

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Children’s Risky Play From an Evolutionary Perspective: The Anti-Phobic Effects of Thrilling Experiences

… Sandseter began observing and interviewing children on playgrounds in Norway. In 2011, she published her results in a paper called “Children’s Risky Play From an Evolutionary Perspective: The Anti-Phobic Effects of Thrilling Experiences.” Children, she concluded, have a sensory need to taste danger and excitement; this doesn’t mean that what they do has to actually be dangerous, only that they feel they are taking a great risk. That scares them, but then they overcome the fear. In the paper, Sandseter identifies six kinds of risky play:
(1) Exploring heights, or getting the “bird’s perspective,” as she calls it—“high enough to evoke the sensation of fear.”
(2) Handling dangerous tools—using sharp scissors or knives, or heavy hammers that at first seem unmanageable but that kids learn to master.
(3) Being near dangerous elements—playing near vast bodies of water, or near a fire, so kids are aware that there is danger nearby.
(4) Rough-and-tumble play—wrestling, play-fighting—so kids learn to negotiate aggression and cooperation.
(5) Speed—cycling or skiing at a pace that feels too fast.
(6) Exploring on one’s own.

This last one Sandseter describes as “the most important for the children.” She told me, “When they are left alone and can take full responsibility for their actions, and the consequences of their decisions, it’s a thrilling experience.”

LINK: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/03/hey-parents-leave-those-kids-alone/358631/

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Filed under kids -- freedom and responsibility, outdoors, play, playgrounds

Sports — just let them play

“I learned that early — just to let them play. And if I see some things I will say ‘Listen… this is important, this is what you gotta pay attention to.’ “
— Bobby Carpenter, Former Boston Bruin
Interviewed on “Olympic Zone” 2/19/2014 on TV discussing his hockey playing kids — including his daughter — now Olympian Alex Carpenter

So perfect! This also works great with downhill skiing with kids. No need for structured, formal lessons per se — they sometimes kill the fun. Instead, try lots of actual skiing with some select comments here or there — mostly learning by doing and watching good skiers.

I’m not saying lessons or advice isn’t useful… they certainly are. But in limited doses and most importantly never at the expense of FUN. I’m also not against organized sports where one is following rules carefully … it’s often been my personal experience that playing team sports properly and by the rules is much more fun than just horsing around. But there is also plenty of time for that. So let them play / skate / ski!

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Filed under ageism, kids -- freedom and responsibility, play, sports and outdoors

The World Happiness Report and “Freedom to make life choices”

The World Happiness Report — a UN analysis of average happiness of countries — has an item that is one of maybe 7 factors they use to gauge overall (average) happiness:

“Freedom to make life choices” is the national average of responses to the question “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?”

Guess what? The US doesn’t do all that well on that measure. So much for Land of the Free. I suspect it is because we think things like cars and single family homes in suburbia are desirable things. But it actually feels freer to live WITHOUT a car in an area with access to great public transportation, health care, etc. There’s probably a psychological or sociological term for this but it’s not coming to me right now.

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