Learning with Abandon: 4th of July Slip-n-Slide

4th of July Slip-n-Slide #1 (Copyright 2012 Ross Peters)

I love that my daughter has the ability to throw herself at an activity with abandon. She can become immersed, single-minded, absorbed.

4th of July Slip-n-Slide #2 (Copyright 2012 Ross Peters)

We spent the Fourth of July in Norris, TN. Only briefly in mourning because the drought conditions forced the town to postpone the fireworks, she quickly found the slip-n-slide.

4th of July Slip-n-Slide #3 (Copyright 2012 Ross Peters)

She went down many times, waiting only somewhat patiently to move back up to the front of the line. Each time she slid, she tried something slightly different. Some of her attempts at doing something new didn’t work well…more often, however, they did. On most slides she became more inventive, more confident, and on the occasion of this particular series of photographs, more joyful.

4th of July Slip-n-Slide #4 (Copyright 2012 Ross Peters)

For many students the Fourth of July is about equidistant from the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. I find some poetry in choosing these photographs from this particular landmark date of summer, for while it is just about as far from a school year as one can get, the pictures are representative of something we should remember in schools.  While summer is a time away from school, it is often provides a wonderful platform for learning, simply because kids have the time to lose themselves in activities without being shepherded away too soon to whatever is next on the daily schedule.

4th of July Slip-n-Slide #5 (Copyright 2012 Ross Peters)

How can we make the important learning that happens in school mimic the abandon and engagement of summer moments like this one more often?

4th of July Slip-n-Slide #6 (Copyright 2012 Ross Peters)

2 thoughts on “Learning with Abandon: 4th of July Slip-n-Slide

  1. Chris Bright August 6, 2014 / 4:58 pm

    Hey Ross, It was great seeing you this weekend and meeting your wife and daughter. Your final question in this blog post (“How can we make the important learning that happens in school mimic the abandon and engagement of summer moments like this one more often?”) is one I often ponder when I consider the rigors and requirements of the curriculum that many teachers face, especially in the public schools where the preparations for CRCT testing reign supreme and stand as an ominous shadow over the school year as the governing “powers that be” demand “measurable performance” from the students and from the teachers. I am afraid that my daughter has already lost her love of learning from being in this particular culture since 1st grade, and it pains my heart to see it happening. My wife and I are doing what we can on the home front to encourage the desire to learn and that the subject matter of our “studies” can be engaging, interesting, and fun. Every year, I pray that Hannah will get a teacher that understands how to live out the answer to your challenging question. Thanks for the post! cb

    • J Ross Peters November 17, 2014 / 1:12 pm

      Chris,

      I am so sorry I just saw your comment! It was great to see you and to meet your wife and daughter. Here’s hoping she gets all the right teachers!

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