One of our goals at TKG: to give students and parents many opportunities to see things through a different lens. Try on wonder, mischief, be a scientist or a shaman…when openness or growth becomes a mindset, your potential changes immediately. This week’s resource, from The Atlantic/Education was chosen to help us try on the lens of adventurer:
Most school field trips are to places the students might never go on their own: a museum, a play, a nature preserve. The idea is to open kids wide to the wonderful world. This past spring one grammar school in Silicon Valley started sending kids to a very different, but equally mind-blowing place: their own neighborhood.
On their own. Without an adult.
The idea was to get children walking around, playing outside, biking to the library—just normal kid stuff. Or at least, what was normal kid stuff. Today, only 13 percent of U.S. children walk to school. One study found that only 6 percent of kids age 9-13 play outside in a given week.
That’s not just sad, it’s a radical new norm: childhood spent under constant adult supervision, and, often enough, in a car. The results wreak havoc on kids’ bodies, the environment, and any parent with hopes and dreams (or even a paying job) beyond the minivan. With national attention focused on climate change, childhood obesity and “leaning in,” less chaperoning seems like a win-win-win solution: decreased emissions, increased exercise, and more time for moms (and dads) to focus on something other than how slowly the after-school pick up line is moving.
And considering the crime rate today is lower than when most of those parents were growing up—it’s back to the rate it was 40+ years ago—why shouldn’t kids be doing anything on their own?