Monday, April 20, 2009

Book Smart vs. Street Smart

A lot of parenting books and online websites I read stress about the importance of play for babies. It's a part of growing up process. In fact, playing is a vital way for them to learn and grow. But play time is not only crucial for babies and small kids, it's the same for school-age children too. It's easy to neglect play time and many parents see it as something frivolous, but playing actually allows children to achieve important social, physical, emotional and cognitive development milestones.

Yes, bringing up a child is a whole lot of responsibility. Not only we as parents have to provide good education, we also have to ensure that our kids get enough play time to ensure a healthy development. "Book smart" is not the only way to succeed in life. One has to be "street smart" as well, especially now in the fast-paced world. Children are children; they are not 'mini adults' and therefore should not be burdened with too much of studying - what with homeworks, extra classes, tuitions and whatnot. There should be ample time for playing as well. After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Parents can encourage their children to play sports, as sports provide a good platform for children to learn great values, such as teamwork, determination, friendship, confidence, etc... Qualities that will last a life-time!

When I was 9 years old, I went to a school in London for about half a year. I'm not sure their current educational system, but back then, play-time is included in the daily school timetable. Classes start at 9 o'clock in the morning and ends at 3pm. Unlike here, we did not just study throughout the whole school period! There were like 2 or 3 break sessions in between subjects. And the best part is, during that break sessions, we were allowed to do sports and play games outdoor! School was fun bcoz there were no pressure and we were allowed to be just kids!

Parents should really encourage their children to play and involve in sports activities just like they would in academic areas. Children can learn a lot through playing and it will help them prepare for their future as they learn great things that are not thought in subjects, like
teamwork, confidence and respect.

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