A recent opinion piece published in the New York Times lamented the lack of “free play and childhood independence” critical for unstructured growth and overall happiness of students in most schools.
“For youngsters these days, an hour of free play is like a drop of water in the desert. Of course they’re miserable… And so for many children, when the school day is over, it hardly matters; the hours outside school are more like school than ever. Children spend afternoons, weekends and summers in aftercare and camps while their parents work. The areas where children once congregated for unstructured, unsupervised play are now often off limits.”
Here at LCA, students have unstructured, self-organized free play for at least an hour at the start and end of the day- giving students plenty of time to build social skills while having fun. Additionally, we have multiple recess periods, art classes, and music classes.
“[kids today] have fewer opportunities to practice social-emotional skills, whether it’s because they live in a violent community where they can’t go outside, or whether it’s because there’s over protection of kids and they don’t get the independence to walk down to the corner store. They don’t learn how to start a friendship, how to start a relationship, what to do when someone’s bothering you, how to solve a problem.”
Standardized testing is limited to the Iowa Assessment given in April. This helps us understand the efficacy of out teaching and is not used to rank students or teachers. And even though we don’t teach to the test, our students enjoy the experience and score spectacularly!