On Monday we had a dusting of the white stuff, it came down fast around mid day, and brought a fair amount of places to a stand still, it didn't last long tho and by the time the children needed collecting from school it had already started to melt. But weather reports say that we are in for alot more Tomorrow, with Hazard warnings and constant reports of the disruption we can expect when, and if the forecasts are correct.
You would think by now we would be able to manage a covering of snow in the winter, and not have to get into a frenzy, but it seems that every year the weather man gives us plenty of warning, but all that proves is that we expect the chaos, rather than we arrange ways to prevent it!
Many schools close at the first sign of snow, but thankfully the school here has a great attitude, and do not send the children home.
Instead they sent a letter home detailing their response to the winter months. It read 'Parents and carers are to assume that, unless otherwise announced, the school will remain open in adverse weather conditions, including snow.' And details the fact that the school will not prevent children from playing outside in the colder weather and should therefore send their children preparred.
Now, I have heard parents complain that their children have been allowed out in the snow, and feared this has resulted in coughs and colds, but I must say I am pleased that our school has this common sense approach.
The letter continues to say 'Many schools have the opinion that snow and children do not mix, I do not agree..... I will not prevent the children playing out, or in the snow' and it even goes on to say they will ALLOW snowball fights.
I can not applaud them enough for this, the school say they have designated snowballing areas, and children will be responsible themselves to choose if they wish to play in these areas, and if they do so they will have to realise they run the risk of being hit.
This sort of attitude is exactly my style of parenting, I have never been one to stop the children taking calculated risks, instead opting to help encourage them to make the choices of what experiences they want, and find out where their limits lie. I am not the sort of parent who thinks that abit of cold weather will result in a snotty nose, or that running along a snow covered street will always result in a broken leg.
Yes, obviously snow equals a chance for increased falls, and upset when children quickly become too cold, but it also gives children the chance to have abit of fun whilst learning that they are the ones ultimately in control of what happens to them. It encourages then to make the choices that they want to, and know that whatever decisions they do make, will have a direct effect on their wellbeing. It hopefully teaches them self control and gives them the life experiences that will be useful in years to come.
If they do not wish to get cold and wet, they will have to not touch the snow, if they want to run around like loons and soak their mates with as much snow as possible then they will have to realise they will get cold and wet too.
Having them open to this action = reaction learning, they also will hopefully be learning to respect other peoples choices, if someone has personally chosen to NOT engage in snowball fights and has chosen to stay in the 'snowball free' area, then that should be respected. If someone has chosen to engage they can not run off crying about getting hit by a large snowball, instead they will have to make a different choice next time. It is far better for children to have the option to do something which is dangerous and learn how it can effect them, or how they can manage the situation, than simply take away any possible negative situation in the first place, removing the childrens ability to learn how to make the clever choices life requires them to make.
Obviously, as parents and teachers we do need to encourage our children to make good choices, and give them the tools they need to be safe in whatever decision they make, and by this I mean providing them with suitable outdoor clothing and footware, a change of socks/trousers, if they are likely to want to engage in snowball fights, and reminding them of the dangers of slippy ice and falling. Once we have equipted our children with the knowledge we then have to allow them the experiences to learn.
I hope that we DO get some snow tomorrow, I hope that everyone gets to enjoy it, and has the skills to stays safe whilst they are doing so!