“Buck Buck! How Many Horns Are Up?”

A very important post on children. When we take away the freedom, the risks, outdoor play, and we put children in front of a screen, we are doing a great injustice. And worse. Frank talks about his childhood and playing outdoors – the way kids should grow up. No parents, and figuring things out on your own. Life skills 101.



OMG! – Those kids don’t have bike helmets on!  Call the cops on their parents!  (that’s Toritto and his brother Alfred – now 76 and 72 respectively)

Times have changed.  Once upon a time kids actually played with other kids outside without parental supervision.  Maybe they do somewhere but even here in semi-rural Florida one rarely sees two or three kids outside anymore without a helicoptering parent.

OK,  you’re thinking, here it comes. Some old fogey waxing poetically about the joys of the way things used to be back in the day.  So let me begin by saying upfront that I do not wear rose colored glasses.  This is more about how things were 65 years ago for an urban kid; whether better in some respects or worse I leave up to you.

When I was in Junior High (today its Middle School) I was not required to…

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About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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22 Responses to “Buck Buck! How Many Horns Are Up?”

  1. toritto says:

    Many thanks Jennie. I see this post struck a chord! Best regards from Florida.

    • Jennie says:

      You are welcome, Frank. The lack of playtime today combined with helicopter parents is truly sad. While I’m not in a big city, I can only imagine the situation there is far worse. Best to you from Massachusetts.

  2. beetleypete says:

    Great re-blog, Jennie. I commented on Frank’s site. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. In some ways the world has changed so much it is barely recognizable. Thanks for sharing, Jennie. Hugs.

  4. Opher says:

    That takes me back. I used to play outside all the time completely unsupervised. I never got killed once!

  5. Mike says:

    To a great extent, we’ve focused so much on sheltering kids that they haven’t been allowed to be kids.

  6. Norah says:

    Thanks for sharing Frank’s post, Jennie. It is definitely different for children these days than it was for me. They have a whole new world to contend with.

  7. jofox2108 says:

    Some things are moving back now towards the more “wild” way of growing up which my generation experienced. At our school we have a thing called a “Playpod” which is really just a big shed full of all sorts of scrap which children can use. They make dens under trees with piles of sticks and cargo netting, play doctors with the crutches, tug of war with the rope, make furniture out of tyres so they can play house and generally explore the materials to see what they can do with them. The children love it and because they decide what to do with the scrap and experience independence. Lunchtime supervisors have been given training for this and just watch out for safety. (i.e. you can do all sorts of things with a stick but you can’t poke another child’s eye out.)

    • Jennie says:

      Wonderful! Every school should have playpod, or least the same philosophy. Where is your school? Mine is in Massachusetts.

      • jofox2108 says:

        I work in East Anglia, England, UK. I’m very lucky with the school – it’s basically a happy place for students and staff. I teach 6 and 7 year olds. When they gamble into class they often remind me of puppies!

      • Jennie says:

        It sounds marvelous! Many schools (private) here in New England do much the same thing- thank goodness. On the flip side many public schools are so safety conscious that they have even banned swings. Very sad.

  8. jofox2108 says:

    Banned swings! That seems so ridiculous. I hope it doesn’t go that far here.

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