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Thread: Is there anyone else out there.....

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    Default Is there anyone else out there.....

    who is happy to let their pre-schoolers play without structured activities? I keep seeing all these people who spend time on teaching their 15 month olds how to write and read and do all these things that I never knew a 15 month old needed to do. I know I am a good mother. My daughters are well behaved, they are in the 'normal' development range and have amazing imaginations. But my 2.5 year old doesn't hold a pencil the right way.....and I'm ok with that. I have no desire to teach her the right way to hold a pencil just yet. She doesn't need to hold one properly yet.....does she???? Does this attitude make me a below par mother in today's society? I don't have a problem with anyone who wants to do the structured activities, so please don't take offence. I guess I just want to know if I'm the only one who feels this way........


  2. #2

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    Um... yeah. You're not alone.
    DS is too busy running around with his imaginary friends and stuff for me to do anything like that.

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    I didn't do structured activities either.

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    I dont do anything structured!!

    DS1 brings me a book if he wants it, or if he is playing with blocks we will do it together etc but nothing set.

    Times I have set him up to draw or play doh he is not at all interested and wants down 5 mins after I set him up.

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    nothing structured here either, and my kids are very happy little monsters.
    sometimes we'll do craft activities etc, but only whilst they're interested, i don't push anything onto them.
    we spend a lot of time outside, i'm the mum who takes her kids out to see floods, play in the rain and mud, go walking through riverbeds etc. to me those things are the free, natural things that sparks their desire to learn more about the environment that we live in, but mostly just to have a $hiteload of fun, get dirty etc.
    we read lots of books, sing lots of songs, and have heaps of fun.
    sometimes i wonder if i should be doing more to extend their learning, but hey, you're a kid for such a short time, i want my kids to enjoy it.

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    Our day is unstructured when we play at home, they play together and play with whatever they like (eg, dolls house, my little pony's, duplo, wooden toys, J (nearly 4) comes and asks me when she wants to do craft, or I suggest it or cooking for something different. They draw when they want to, they ask me to read to them whenever they want to. J has Kinder 2 days a week and a dance class on Thurs and swimming Fridays so I like it to be unstructured when shes at home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boobaloo View Post
    sometimes i wonder if i should be doing more to extend their learning, but hey, you're a kid for such a short time, i want my kids to enjoy it.
    exactly what I think boobaloo, but then sometimes some people make me feel like I'm disadvantaging my girls by taking this road.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Scientist View Post
    , but then sometimes some people make me feel like I'm disadvantaging my girls by taking this road.....
    everyone is always going to have an opinion on how you should properly raise a child, but as long as i know that my children are happy, healthy and know that they are the most important people in my world, then i know that i will produce happy, well balanced adults. you have a lifetime to act like you have a rod up your ass, right now, i want them to be free and natural.

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    Love it boobaloo. Exactly how I feel. Thanks x

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Scientist View Post
    Love it boobaloo. Exactly how I feel. Thanks x
    anytime darl, you want bummy-mummy advice, you know where to come

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    Quote Originally Posted by boobaloo View Post
    everyone is always going to have an opinion on how you should properly raise a child, but as long as i know that my children are happy, healthy and know that they are the most important people in my world, then i know that i will produce happy, well balanced adults. you have a lifetime to act like you have a rod up your ass, right now, i want them to be free and natural.
    Hehe so true

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    i think there comes a time when they want to do more structured learning, but at 15 months and 2.5 i dont think it neccessary unless they are wanting. my 3.8 yr old just today came out and wrote her name all by herself, then spent another 30 mins or so writing etc.. for fun. we ve also introduced some basic maths, but again its fun and during playtime, its not structured

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    im the same i have tried sitting boy oldest down to do things but is happy to go off and do as he feels! we tried to teach him words, well he speaks alot and has learnt to sing and count to 12 and his abc from his tv channel nick jr, i was amazed at how we been trying to teach him, and yet he sits down watches a show repeats what they say! i try to take them to places of interest like last trip was the zoo they had a ball, next trip is to the aquarium. i read bedtime stories and get him to help me around the house like pick up washing and put in basket, i make alot of little games out of household chores lol. DS2 he's just over 1 no way is he ready for certain things and i dont push him he has taken great steps recently and he just like to do things aswell in his own time. kids grow up too quickly and i dont want to take their fun away they have a ball each and every day their never bored!

  14. #14

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    We definitely have no structured play and I do not believe stuctured play is appropriate at this young age. Play should be developmentally approrpriate for the age but defiitely not structured below the age of 4.

    I expose DD to things like drawing (actually more like scribbling and she holds her crayon with a fist grip but you know what, I dont care! She is 16mths and is not going to write like this when she is older).I let her play with chalk (which she tends to put in her mouth and prefers to eat it). We sing songs (even if they are Beyonce and not the usual nursery rhymes although we do sing nursery rhymes when mummy can remember them). We dance like noboy's watching (because hey, nobody is watching). We watch tv (sometimes Play School, sometimes Bold and the Beautiful). We (DD) unpacks cupboards and drawers and then we pack them back up afterwards. We play with friends and run around at the park. We cuddle and play with the dogs.

    None of it is structured but DD is learning all the time. I am a teacher and I know that the best thing for my 16mth old to do is to play and have freedom to explore cause and affect (with supervision of course).

    Let them be children. They have 13 years of formal schooling ahead of them where they will have PLENTY of structure!.

    By the way I do want to add that I think it is important to begin to develop structured activities in the year before starting school but in small ways so as to prepare the for a very structured environment.

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    No structure here either, mostly we play, i make playdough, we paint, make cubby houses, dress up, swing in the hammock, jump on the tramp, walk to the pool or the market, or sit on the couch and watch the TV! (When DD1 draws, which she loves to do, i do show her how to hold the pencil. ) We do read a lot of books, but only becasue they love it, it's not like i tie them down and make them. It's great to read there are others out there just letting their kids play. We are very isolated and don't have access to structured activities like dancing, swimming or whatever. I sometimes wonder if i am giving them the best start by not having access to those kinds of things and it is reassuring to know other kids are doing just the same as us.

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    Meh, they've got a whole life full of structured activities to look forward to.
    When I look back at my childhood my happiest memories aren't the times my mother tried teaching me Latin. It's mucking around at the dam, making mud pies and so on. I think that too many people underestimate the value of time spent doing 'nothing'. Children learn all sorts of stuff through unstructured play and it's possibly stuff that we wouldn't even think of teaching them. Not only are they learning but the value of happy memories is pretty much impossible to quantify.
    If anyone bugs you just tell them that you're unschooling and slow parenting your children

  17. #17

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    Slow parenting, love it.

    Living in a developing nation, the national kids here don't have toys. A toy is a nut or and old wheel on the end of a long stick. That is something that has definitely changed since we got here, the kids don't play with toys much. Probably because i am embarrassed that we have so much compared to most people so have given most of their toys away. . We do have a play kitchen i got made, and a tricycle and a tramp, but other than that not a lot of toy box kind of toys.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Onyx View Post
    Meh, they've got a whole life full of structured activities to look forward to.
    When I look back at my childhood my happiest memories aren't the times my mother tried teaching me Latin. It's mucking around at the dam, making mud pies and so on. I think that too many people underestimate the value of time spent doing 'nothing'. Children learn all sorts of stuff through unstructured play and it's possibly stuff that we wouldn't even think of teaching them. Not only are they learning but the value of happy memories is pretty much impossible to quantify.
    If anyone bugs you just tell them that you're unschooling and slow parenting your children
    Thanks onyx. My fav memories are of playing with my sisters in the backyard and cooking with my mum. I don't remember her teaching me as such, just loving me and giving me lots of cuddles. All my formal learning was done at school and I didn't turn out below average in intelligence. I want my girls to appreciate being a kid.
    It's so nice to hear other people are thinking the along the same lines as me. Thanks

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