Monday, September 04, 2017


I learned yesterday that the public middle school here in Eureka Springs allows only 45 minutes per week of recess time. That recess time is also used as a form of punishment by being withheld from those students who misbehave or fail to do their work. It is extremely frustrating here in my own town to see such negligence as to the real needs that children have.

I've had friends who have tried to make a difference by becoming members of the public school board, but when they've done so, have found that their input and concerns are not allowed for. Frustration reigns supreme. And why is recess important to kids? Play is not just play.

At the Clear Spring School, denial of recess is not the case. Our children and staff need it and revel in it. Just as students need time to unwind, teachers, do too. And I have to marvel at the stupidity of modern schooling. In Finland,  for example, students have more recess time than any other nation in Europe and beat the pants off Americans in the PISA testing.

I have made a decision to leave the lid of the box unadorned. I can still choose a pull at a later time, but have agreed with many of my readers that the lovely piece of walnut may be best left alone and seen without obstruction.

Today I will work with an editor from Fine Woodworking on an article about making box joints, like those seen in the box (with no pull) in the photo.

This box also suggests a lesson on the mixing and matching of woods. How can one decide what kinds of wood look good together? I invite my readers to tell why these woods fit with each other, or if not why.

Make, fix, create and insist upon the value of play in schooling.

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