This New York Times article, published on May 16, 2015, details how the increasing push towards early academics is well-intentioned, but misguided. Children's potential might actually be hampered in the long run by academic instruction that doesn't match the child's development.
Per the experts, play based learning is the best approach for children under the age of 7 or 8. “Play is often perceived as immature behavior that doesn’t achieve anything,” says David Whitebread, a psychologist at Cambridge University who has studied the topic for decades. “But it’s essential to their development. They need to learn to persevere, to control attention, to control emotions. Kids learn these things through playing.”
Green Meadow students play an instrument from third through twelfth grades. This article highlights some of the neurological benefits. We know there are many other benefits as well, both tangible and intangible.
The Green Meadow robotics team, The PolyGnomes, traveled to the FTC World Championships from April 21-26 and left tied for 5th place, out of 4500 teams. We are so proud of their accomplishments, and grateful to their coaches, math teachers James Madsen and Lisa Krogh!
This piece from The Washington Post is worth reading. Our favorite quote: "I also believe that competence can only be gained through experience; therefore, allowing our children to take risks will actually make them safer. Behind this philosophy is a strong trust in children’s abilities in general; I often feel that we don’t give children enough credit in this area."
Our Robotics Team, the indefatigable PolyGnomes, has worked incredibly hard this year and has advanced to the FTC World Championships in St. Louis. They leave on April 21 to compete for three days against the best teams in the world, and they are the only Waldorf school participating at this level, in this championship.
We hope you will consider helping to fund their trip, in honor of their tremendous efforts and their strong spirit.
This video shows you what their robot, #28, can do.