Homeschool · Independence · Kids

Day 839: Free Play

We spent five hours in the park today. Wednesday is the weekly homeschoolers’ meetup, which we try not to miss when we’re in town. E and K spent five hours hanging out with their friends outside, doing what I think kids should be doing—playing games, talking to each other, riding bikes, climbing trees. The parents, meanwhile, sat and talked. Everyone was happy.

It was like I used to tell my kids: “You’re a kid, and your job is to play with other kids. I’m a parent, and my job is to talk to other parents.” That philosophy doesn’t always work out in the average Toronto playground; there’s a lot of helicopter parenting, which makes it hard for kids to play together without adult intervention. But these homeschoolers are clearly my people: only infants and toddlers get closely supervised. From preschool age on up, the kids organize their own games, run around together, and look out for each other. It’s a beautiful thing. I am so glad I found this group.

For the record, E has gone back to her screen-watching ways. Yesterday’s event was still a heartening reminder that she can and will get bored of it eventually. After five hours of active outdoor play, she can hardly be blamed for wanting to sit and do nothing. In fact, I think I might do the same thing, possibly with some strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

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