“Play is the work of children,” said Maria Montessori, one of the most renowned educators of the 20th century. In her new book It’s OK Not to Share…and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids, journalist Heather Shumaker argues that free, child-directed play is the most essential learning activity for preschoolers.
Shumaker calls her parenting principles “renegade rules” because they fly in the face of today’s conventional wisdom that drives well-meaning parents and educators to push young children into activities that they are not developmentally ready for: academics, and altruistic acts such as sharing toys before they are done playing with them.
On Wednesday, September 19 at 7 p.m., Shumaker will return to the ground-breaking preschool where she experienced these renegade learning principles as a young child: the School for Young Children at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus.
Shumaker’s presentation will be followed by refreshments and a book signing. Copies of It’s OK Not to Share will be available for sale. The event is free and open to the public.
Columnist Joe Blundo explains the childhood learning principles behind some of Shumaker’s more controversial advice in this morning’s Columbus Dispatch.