Park Day versus Recess

Dear Reader,
I did a couple of posts recently (here and here) on some problems we have had at our local homeschool park day. But I don’t want to leave anyone thinking that that is a bad experience overall. It is a wonderful time we look forward to every week. In the course of the discussion one mom said something along the lines of  “well, if this is how they are going to behave, it is no better than public school recess.” Which is not true (and she did take it back; it was said in the heat of the moment, I think). But I wanted to give some reasons why park day is superior to recess so here they are:
As far as the comparison to public school recess, I only have my own memories of school to go on since my kids haven’t been in school but I would say the things I prefer about park day are:
1) kids of many ages playing together, not just playing with their own grade/age
2) no cliques; everybody who wants to is allowed to join the game
3) boys and girls playing together
4) no bullying (that I have ever observed)
5) if a child were to speak up and say “hey guys, I think this is gone too far; we need to stop”, the others might not listen but I also don’t think they would retaliate or treat him negatively in any way because he spoke up
All these things are different from how I remember recess play. Not to mention the fact that they have 2 hours or more instead of 20 minutes.

2 responses to this post.

  1. This is a very timely post for me, Nebby.
    At our homeschool group’s park play (last month), there was nothing but “public school stuff” going on : name-calling, lots of cliques, and bullying. There was even a 12-yr.old girl hanging upside down on the monkey bars, exposing herself from the waist to her armpits. ( My children told me about it on the way home.) It’s very frustrating and it’s because of situations like this that our family doesn’t participate in very many of our group’s activities. If I want my children exposed to these things, I can just send them to public school.


    • We live in an area with our choice of homeschool groups and I have found that each one has it own personality. We are very fortunate to have found one that doesn’t seem clique-ish where I think everyone feels welcome. Though I will say when we first tried it five years ago, there were fewer kids my own kids’ ages and I didn’t feel like I connected with anyone. I’m glad we tried it again after a while though.

      I have also heard that it gets harder to bridge the differences with people who come from very different philosophies or religions over time. This comment was made to me in the context of a homeschool book group but I coudl see it happening in other areas too. I know the teen contingent of our group watches movies I would not even want my teen watching. Our group is not a Christian one and I like that it is not but I could see there being more differences in how people are raising their kids and therefore more conflict over time.


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