In this particular session Dr. Wile shared the findings of a study by Dr. McCurdy which were published in his article titled: “The Childhood Patterns of Genius.” During his research, Dr.McCurdy noted three commonalities among the twenty geniuses he studied, but I only want to focus on the third. Amazingly, all had significant amounts of imaginative play. Dr. Wile then answered the question as to why imaginative play promotes genius by stating, “When a child uses his or her imagination, it produces a tendency to ‘think outside the box.’ This can end up bringing originality into nearly any endeavor.” Psychologist Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn, asserts that “…children,if free to pursue their own interests through play, will not only learn all they need to know, but will do so with energy and passion.”
I agree with Andrew Pudewa’s self assessment: my biggest handicap in educating my children is the education I
received. If I could shout out one single, liberating truth to those just starting to home educate their children
it would be this: “home school is NOT school at home!” I admonish you not to duplicate at home what has repeatedly failed in the public realm.
So here is my challenge: take the summer off from “school”. Put the workbooks, pencils and flash cards away.
Delight in reading a grand adventure novel together. (Even my 15 year old loves being read to!) Catch lightening bugs and capture tadpoles. Roast marshmallows and count stars. Stay up too late and laugh too loud. And
when it’s time for school to start back, make sure you allow more than enough time for play!
*You can access the notes from Dr. Wile’s workshop here.
**You can read more about Dr. Peter Gray and his book here.
(Please be aware that he does not hold a Christian world view)