Hello Overfield Families,
Today was another lovely Monday! The many living things that call Overfield home continue to grow and flourish in our absence, and all of us who work at Overfield are sad to be missing the opportunity to marvel with you at the beauty that is spring on the hill!
It has been equally beautiful to see, though, how our teachers and families have risen to the challenge of making the best of a tough situation. Our teachers have shown such dedication and persistence in trying to transform what is a highly personal, responsive philosophy into something translatable to an online format. I am impressed daily with the quality of the provocations they are sending and the depth of the projects they are facilitating.
It is equally heartwarming to see the dedication and care that our families are putting into supporting their children during this time. Of course we love to see when you interact with or respond to the ideas that the teachers send out to you, but we also love to see the creative things you are doing with your children on your own. We also particularly love to see the brilliance and learning that is inherent in children’s self-guided, unstructured play. There is so much value in the imaginative play children engage in on their own or with siblings. So, even if you are busy working or caring for other children, know that if your child is playing, your child is learning! As we always say, as advocates for children’s right to play, play is a child’s work–and play is enough!
Today I will leave you with quotes from a couple of brilliant thinkers which echo the thoughts above. Albert Einstein said, “Play is the highest form of research.” We know that if children are invested in play–particularly with open-ended materials or in environments full of loose parts like out in nature–they are observing, hypothesizing, testing, and researching. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It is a happy talent to know how to play.” Indeed, being able to self-entertain, to discover things to wonder about and find engagement with, are lifelong skills and dispositions that serve children and adults alike. And, as your children develop this happy talent, it is perfectly okay for them to be bored! Boredom is best viewed as a place full of possibility, for it is the fertile ground from which creativity grows. Convincing them of this may take time, 🙂 but as with all things, persistence in cultivating this talent will pay off.
Thank you all, once again, for your support, engagement, and resilience through this unprecedented time. We are ever grateful for our strong bonds of friendship and collaboration. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with anything you may need!
Best wishes, Beth Poronsky – Overfield Program Lead