Make sure they get outside, and they have space and time to think and dream
nt position. In an ideal world parents would be the ones to give this kind of play-based, exploratory and creatively-enriching environment to our children. But kids are legally required to attend school and, from a financial perspective, to own a home in most of our major cities requires that most families have two parents working. Kids can only explore so much on a 600sqm block.
But there is much we can do. At home we can make sure our kids aren’t too bogged down in homework, which is empirically shown to be unhelpful prior to high school, and we can an minimise structured after school activities.
We can ensure they get outside, and they have space and time to think and dream. And, most importantly, we can give them plenty of time to play.
As to the answer to the big debate — yes, if your family situation permits it, delay. But not because your child doesn’t know his letters, or can’t use the toilet yet, but because the real work of childhood is play. nu s c c