One of the things I looked forward to the most when growing up was snow days from school. I was never one to break the rules and randomly skip school. I would even lie in bed feeling guilty when I wasn’t feeling well, and my mother would keep me home. So, snow days was like skipping school while following the rules for me. Totally awesome! Now with electronics and the latest trend of e-learning children are missing out. Now when school is closed for snow it’s not just a stay home day, its I’ll see on the screen. Its I’ve e-mailed or posted you the assignments you need to do at home. What a letdown. I know someone who had a family tradition of flushing ice cubes down the toilet on wintery nights in hopes of getting a snow day. Even as teenagers! Snow days have been a day of family connection, stolen moments for making memories when school and work was put aside. I think its sad to see it start to go away. Children are told what to do and have so many expectations they have to meet. Snow days was the opportunity to feel free for a day. To go sledding, build snowmen, and have snowball fights with your friends outside. To have hot chocolate with blankets and a movie in the evening with your family. Now all of that is too pushed aside to continue learning. Learning is important. It is necessary to grow and gain knowledge to be productive adults but losing the ability to connect with others in an impulsive and creative way is just as important to growing up. We need to balance it out.
Now that organized school learning is going to start happening more and more from home it is important to find ways to make new snow day traditions. Continue to throw the ice cubes in the toilet. Continue to go sledding and have hot chocolate. Help and encourage your children who et a snow day to complete the assignments given to them but set aside time to do the fun things we see as normal snow day traditions. Involve your children in coming up with new ways to enjoy the snow. Building family connections and emotional ties to people in a tangible way is just as important as math and literacy. Impromptu experiences help children to be inventive in creating their own learning experiences. They need the opportunity to experience to try new thins without planning it out. They need to have the chance to be in charge. Opportunities for children to just be children and to fly in opposition of what’s expected of them are slowly disappearing.
Snow days always had the underlining meaning of freedom. Freedom to create and to experience things out of the norm. Snow days were exciting. They were fun. I think that with all the changes our children are going through, growing up and trying to meet the expectations of others it is important to maintain childhood traditions to the best of our ability. Snow days are not trivial. Snow days are important!
Lead Pre-Kindergarten Program