The "Writing with the Younger Set" Tea with Julie series continues.
Tea with Julie

Welcome to "Tea with Julie," a weekly missive by me, Julie Bogart. My wish is to give you food for thought over a cup of tea to enhance your life as an educator, parent, and awesome adult. Glad you're here. Pinkies up!
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Cincinnati, October 9, 2021

Hi Friend,

A Brave Writer parent asked:

I get that “play is their work” but how and when do we start to transition to at least some “schooling?”

Ask yourself what it is you hope “schooling” accomplishes that is not currently being accomplished by play? Is it possible to teach reading through play? Writing through play? Math through play?

And when I say “play,” I mean the spirit of:

  • curiosity,
  • engagement,
  • and excitement.

Everything kids do touches on the very subjects you want them to learn.

You can get to where you want to go through what they are already doing. 

  • What if you played with the handwriting book under the table, using a flashlight?
  • What if you doodled pictures for her to find as she completed math problems?
  • What if you tucked her into the corner of the sectional with a blanket and the puppy, putting the writing assignment on a clipboard?

I know you can't think of these creative ideas every day—but if you come from a spirit of discovery and play rather than requirement, you may find yourself seeing learning opportunities more and more often!

Instead of expecting cooperation, look for ways to foster parallel play!

In other words:

  • make observations in your child's presence,
  • talk about what is fascinating in the language,
  • try out the pencils and flip through the pages of the book,
  • dive into the textbook and start in the middle!

It’s tempting to “play school” because that’s what we remember.

But flip it. What if you let school be play?

For example, in your child's presence in the morning, simply get up from the floor where the two of you were playing, and silently begin writing at the table with a big variety of utensils. You might even start by writing your kid's name on the windows with window markers, or making cookies that look like the alphabet and then playing with the letters and putting them into arrangements that are words.

Perhaps while your child is playing with toys, you sit nearby and simply begin reading aloud. 

Have your child create a sheet of math problems for you to solve (you'd be amazed at what your child learns trying to stump you!).

You don’t need to “teach.” 

You want to simply include in your days, a little conversation and activity that points to the skills and concepts your child will need for their life, a little at a time.





P.S. Catch up on all the “Tea with Julie” emails here!

Julie Bogart
© 2021 Brave Writer LLC™

Brave Writer




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