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Nicholson Elementary
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Principal's Perspective, November 2017

October 26, 2017


I've heard many say that childhood is much different for our kids today than it was for us years ago.

Some of my fondest childhood memories involved meeting up with friends after school and playing pick-up games in the neighbourhood.  The world in which our kids are growing up is much different than the one we experienced, to be sure.  We hear about so much that make us want to pull our kids closer.  Access to technology and media is different.  On a different note, I think back on Golden in my youth and see how many more great organized activities are available for today's children.  My kids have three planned activities a week each, and I know many kids have more!

We need to find balance, though.  Time for unstructured, free play outdoors is important.  Children use that free, exploratory play to build sense of self, and learn and practice social skills and problem solving, supported by the grown-ups in their lives as necessary.  Research shows that kids who spend time outside every day are healthier, happier, more creative, less stressed, and more alert.  In other words, perfectly ready for learning!

In October we were challenged to be active 60 minutes a day by Dr. Larson-Soles.  Let's see if we can keep that going, with balanced structured and free play opportunities, throughout the winter ahead.  Teachers are looking forward to spending more time exploring and learning in the outdoors this winter.  Please remember to dress your child for the weather every day as an activity in our woods or the fields is always a possibility!  We also strive to go outside at all scheduled breaks for free play, too, unless weather conditions are severe.  Kids won't melt in the rain or wet snow, nor will they freeze in usual winter weather, but they will be miserable without warm clothes, good waterproof mitts, and snowpants once the snow flies.  (Note: please label everything!)

We have no cut-and-dried "too cold for outside" rules at Nicholson because wind can play such a role on our grounds.  In a brisk wind, -14c can feel a lot colder than -20c when the wind is still.  Also, depending on the temperature, we may limit outside time instead of having full "inside days" (e.g., go outside for 15 minutes of lunch break, then be inside for the final 20).  We stay inside for all or part of our breaks when the temperature is in the -18c to -20c range (or feels like it with wind).

Have a great November!

Mr. Wilson