If you have the time to spare and can afford to put up your feet
and have a cuppa, then do read this excellent article:
Basically, what the writer says is that our children don’t need longer school hours; they need more play. We should give childhood back to children and allow them to play, explore and be creative.
This in turn will help them to grow into intellectually, socially, emotionally, physically strong and resilient adults.
I can only say that my own childhood was full of all sorts of play, creative activities, sporting activities,
outdoor activities etc etc. That is not to say that I didn't work hard at school and my studies. I did.
However, I believe that the balance between work and play was just about right.
I was musical from quite an early age; I was very sporty; I took an interest in the outside world and spent a lot of time roaming the woodlands near where we lived with an iSpy book of some sort, in my hands;
I collected stamps, which taught me so much about the world in which we live; I could sew and knit when I was quite young. I loved going to watch the ballet at the local theatre; I spent much time at the beach (living in South Devon, it was pretty easy to do that!). On top of that, I was an avid reader, loved books and could often be seen at the local library. Much of the time, I made my own amusement and was never ever bored. The internet was unheard of as were mobile phones. Indeed, my family didn't not even own a landline phone or a car until I was in my teens.
My 1950s/1960s childhood made me the person that I am today.
The above article in 'The Independent' also reminded me about Susan Isaacs, a passionate lady when it came to the subject of play and the importance of a nurseries:
And so Michael Gove ...you are so very wrong if you want to extend the school day!
Open your mind a little and take a tip from those of us who were so fortunate to have
had the kind of childhood which nurtured the important qualities in life.
Surely we are the living proof !! ;-)