We do not judge or grade. Our primary goals are to get students to think, build team/partner concepts and provide a time and place for physical exertion. We have found that our structure is very conducive to all levels. As an example, a higher-grade student may be able to make a very workable catapult, whereas for some younger students it may end up more as an art project. And that is okay, because through “failure” (“experience”) research shows students often learn better by using inducive thinking to achieve a goal by a method that we as an adult did not consider. Or, as another example, writing ideas for a book in the 916 Ink Creative Writing class may mean drawing pictures.
There are, however, certain parameters that we feel are important.
- Students must not be disruptive. We know some students can get overwhelmed and need some quiet time. That is okay, but it must be quiet time, and not engage in an activity that is distractive to the rest of the class. Student must remain in eyesight of staff (if we are inside, student must remain inside).
- The youth writing class by 916 Ink and the STEM program by La Familia do not have the facility to allow a student to become disengaged as much as the class time within the Adventure Playground (the majority of the class time). For these two classes students needing a break may need to remain at or near their table. On an infrequent basis, students can come back to the Playground for quiet time on Wednesdays, or on Thursdays come back and be part of the public play time (must be escorted).
- It is okay for the parent or a student aide to be present and to assist your child. This is a good idea if your child needs several breaks.
- Students must be able to appropriately socialize with others. No hitting, kicking or use of bad words.
- Students must be willing to try. Again, breaks are okay, but overall some participation is necessary.
- At least two staff members are present. Plus, on most occasions we have a Sac State Intern or an older student from the Teacher’s Aide program. The intern and aide are often assigned to assist the younger students more.
- If your child has special needs the listed parameters remain the same.
For the Parents:
In our primary program of out-of-school play one of the fundamental principles of adventure playgrounds is play without parents. The Homeschool Program is a hybrid approach and the following are guidelines for parents.
- During the Homeschool portion it is okay for parents to be present (some charter schools require it).
- Help directed towards your child should be of a unique nature due to special circumstances or “passive”. If your child does not need special help, but you would like to assist, we always can use general help directed equally to all students or those in need.
- Do remember the words of the great Jedi Master Yodi in your assistance; “Greatest teacher failure is.”
- During “free time” we ask that your child be allowed to play without direction. If you stay into the public play period, we encourage you to be absent, or at least remain in the background. Remember adult presence also affects the play of other children. FYI staff is trained on how to not interfere with child driven play. Plus, they get so used to staff that staff are often in the background to them.