Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Kids In The House: Play-Based Preschool Curriculum

I was once told that if you have something important to say to a busy person, the first step is to practice getting your main points across in two minutes or less. That way, the theory goes, if you happen to find yourself, say, in an elevator with the President, you won't waste the opportunity stumbling over your words. And if you're really good, the President will then reply, "Tell me more."

Anyway, that was sort of the mission when I traveled to Santa Monica to make a series of 18 short parenting videos for Kids In The House. And even while I doubt I'll ever find myself alone on an elevator with the President, I found it an excellent exercise to try to talk about big topics in a limited time-frame without it coming out as word salad.

A huge part of this blog is about the whys and wherefores of a play-based curriculum, so I know I can go long on the topic. Embedded below is my attempt at an elevator ride speech on how a play-based curriculum works.

And while you could hardly throw a rock at your computer screen (although I wouldn't recommend it) without hitting a post here that addresses at least some aspect of a play-based curriculum, if you're interested in the long-form version, you might want to check out some of these posts:

Teaching A Play-Based Curriculum
How A Play-Based Curriculum Works
I Just Need To Play With Them
How An Emergent Curriculum Works: Hardwired Into Our DNA (first of a 5 parter)
Choosing The Way That Is Hard
Why We Laugh When We Play
Let's Define Play
Why I Teach The Way I Do (This is the really long version that I would hope the President would read after hearing the elevator pitch.)

And if you liked the video, you can find not only the rest of my videos (search for "Tom Hobson"), but also some 8000 more two minute parenting videos at Kids In The House.

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Donna said...

You are so awesome!! When school starts up again in September I am going to connect my parents to your blog and to these informative videos. Thanks!!

Becky said...

Thank you for posting this video. I'm searching for a preschool for my youngest daughter and found a brilliant preschool with an impressive calendar. It looked good to me (having weekly themes and focuses on a particular book each class day with activities connected to both the theme and book.) Anyhow, I glanced at their philosophy and noticed they label themselves as an academic-based preschool. I thought that was curious because everything looked "playful" in their approach to learning. Now, after listening to your video, I realize why they aren't play based... they are missing the play in preschool. I haven't been to the preschool in person yet, but I'll be scrutinizing their free play schedule, classroom set up and outside equipment very carefully.

Paula Harrell said...

One of the things that hooked me right away to your blog were the great pictures you post of kids at play and exploration. I would love to have an outdoor area like you have, at my school. It's so great to connect with others that "get it"....Let the kids PLAY! Too much structure hinders their learning and messy days are good days! Thanks for sharing the link to this great resource. I will be sharing it with my Pre-K families this year and using it myself as a parent of teenage boys!

Learn + Play = PreK

Deborah said...

I love the video Tom! Can't wait to see more of them!

Unknown said...

I love your heart.

Anonymous said...

Tom, you have been and continue to be my biggest inspiration! Thank you for finding the words to eloquently phrase all the thoughts we really want our parents to understand!