Sponsors: Vilij ABA | Eye Level Learning Center | Autism Home Support Services | Let It Be Us
These words don’t come easily. I find myself in a position where I am left with no other choice, but to bear my heart on my sleeve and ask a favor.
Could you please give your child time to play?
I want to provide this for them in school. I miss the days of a dress-up trunk and play kitchen. I miss the block corner and a craft table. Your children need these things, and I can no longer provide them.
See, the day is busy, as you know. We are in a new era of education. Opinions on that aside, I want you to know I recognize the change. The academic rigor is good but also pushes other things out of the picture.
Your child is learning higher-level mathematical concepts at a much earlier age. Algebra is introduced in first grade now. But there is a cost, and exploring geometry through Legos and wooden blocks just doesn’t fit in.
The writing your child is doing is amazing. There are insights and opinions and text-based evidence, but I had to let something go to make room for this. Unfortunately, we don’t really have time for the creative writing we used to see so much of. It’s not gone, but it feels that way sometimes.
Complex texts and more non-fiction are filling our day. This provides amazing connections between social studies and science. But the loss is things you may remember about grade school. We don’t learn the 50 states and capitals anymore, and the solar system study is no longer about making models of the planets.
The technology is amazing. Computers are putting more information at their fingertips than we could have found in any encyclopedia. But it does mean more time in front of screens and that typing trumps cursive. I know that’s hard to swallow, but it’s just the best use of our time.
Art and music and physical education are still there for most of us, but not in the classroom. It’s one session a week as a ‘special’, but I just don’t have the time or resources to pull the paints out in the classroom anymore. I’m not sure how I could justify it with everything else that must be taught.
Thankfully, reading is still an essential part of our day. We read books and articles and primary sources. It’s wonderful to open up new worlds of information. But it had to take the place of something and reading for fun seemed to be the thing that fell away. It breaks my heart, but this is why I need you.
I need you to bridge this gap with me. When your children come home please fill these voids in what I am able to do in six hours a day.
Let them be messy with glitter and paint. I know it’s hard, but they need time to be creative.
Let them be loud and run and get dirty outside. I know there is not a lot of time, but their bodies need the freedom to move.
Let them read a book just because it’s beautiful. I know you’re busy with dinner and homework, but the beauty of words can inspire them to dream.
Let them try new things. Go places. Visit the library just because. Play tag. Build a tower. Let their imagination run free.
Kids need this. Play will only help them become better learners, thinkers, and creators. No matter how old or young they may be please make time for them to play.
I will do my best for them in the classroom. I will provide academic rigor and teach all that I’m supposed to. On top of that, I’ll try to squeeze in opportunities for all that’s been pushed aside. I’ll do what I can, but I need your help.
Please, give them time to play.
A Teacher Who Wants the Best
By Rebecca Hastings
Vilij ABA | Eye Level Learning Center | Autism Home Support Services | Let It Be Us
Vilij ABA therapy practice serves families of children who have received an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis with an emphasis on client progress, not profits. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is founded on evidence-based science and behavior principles that are focused on providing meaningful changes to help individuals and families live with fewer barriers. At Vilij ABA, we believe it takes a village to help children and families reach their highest potential. 630-777-2800. www.vilijaba.com.
Eye Level Learning Center
Eye Level is based on an educational philosophy in which students learn at their own pace. Each student receives an individualized program based on their ability, independent of age and grade. Eye Level English develops students’ essential writing and literacy skills through a comprehensive English Language Arts program. Eye Level Math develops students’ critical and analytical thinking skills through a comprehensive program and small-step approach. We offer virtual and in-center classes. Contact your local Eye Level Learning Center to find out about our back-to-school promotions! To learn more, visit learnmore.myeyelevel.com/bts.
Autism Home Support Services
Autism Home Support Services, an Invo Company, is a leading provider of evidence-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in Illinois. We take great pride in working with children and families across the state, in homes and centers, to help children shine their brightest. Our newest program, iSHINE was designed by doctorate-level BCBAs for children aged five and under. iSHINE supports the littlest learners in making the greatest gains as they get ready to transition into Kindergarten. To learn about enrolling your child in services, call 844.247.7222 or visit our website at https://www.invocompanies.com/ishine.
Let It Be Us
Let It Be Us is dedicated to changing the landscape of foster care and adoption in Illinois for the over 22,000 children in foster care. We envision a future in which our most vulnerable children have the opportunities and resources they need, which can best be met by belonging in a family. Let It Be Us recruits foster parents through educational events and helps children find loving families through our proprietary database of over 750 licensed foster homes. Learn more at www.letitbeus.org.