Wednesday Wonders: Play is Good Work - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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Wednesday Wonders: Play is Good Work

{photos by Lisa Ann Dillon}

Just watch kids long enough and you’re likely to behold some wonders. Today’s Wednesday Wonder comes from the Dillon family. Lisa Ann Dillon, her husband Tracy, and their two kids Grant (LMS) and Lyla (Primary) are on Track A. This is their 7th year attending SLOCA, and Lisa Ann is also the Intermediate Lead teacher on Track A (this is her 9th year of teaching here) and the Singapore Math Lead. She wrote in with the following thoughts and observations about the wonder of play:

Around the time Lyla entered Little Wonders at SLOCA, the faculty of the younger classes (pre-school – K) began emphasizing the significance of play in the development of the mind of a young child.  Having spent several years studying human development at a college that also emphasized that “play is the work of the young child,” I was eager to join in this approach.  When Lyla entered Kindergarten, we took the “1 hour of play time” on the grid seriously – to the minute!  We set a timer and Lyla would entertain herself, and she would sometimes ask for suggestions but she was absolutely unwilling to relinquish this time even one minute early.

People (non-SLOCA folks) often ask me whether or not it is difficult to be with my children so frequently.  Well, sure, sometimes it is.  But most of the time, the opportunity to educate the way we do has allowed my kids to fully be kids, to retain their innocence and yes – to see wonders.  One of those ways is that they are both creative players.  Although Lyla has been out of Kindergarten for awhile, she still takes the work of playtime seriously.  And she now creates things that are far beyond any suggestion I could make.

Recently, we landscaped our front yard.  There was a pile of decomposed granite left over that we had planned for pathways and other things.  Lyla had other plans!  As you see here, she has created a “Queendom” where she sits on the throne and rules.  All are welcome in her Queendom including the neighbors, caterpillars, grasshoppers and tomato worms that get to live in a lovely bug jug, boys, and even grown ups.  Lyla is still adding and has even begun a new area that she is slowly developing.  She can easily spend more than an hour out there, if I don't interrupt her.  This delightful, imaginary land is reminiscent of a favorite book of ours, Roxaboxen written by Alice McLerran.  I believe she is making indelible memories that I hope will come back to her later in life and fill her with joy, the wonder of make-believe, and the understanding that “Play” is good work. 

Thank you Lisa Ann, for this reminder of the creativity that is sparked when kids take playtime seriously. What a great connection to a favorite literature book! 

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