SPOILER ALERT! Watch Extraordinary Attorney Woo, Season 1, Episode 9 to fully appreciate the idea behind this post.
The theme in this episode was a very timely and relevant one, and it invites the viewer to reexamine what are usually very strongly-held beliefs regarding education to the point that many parents and institutions are actually forcing children into an overly strict and highly-demanding education system at the expense of the children’s physical and mental health.
Gu-ppong challenges this system by taking a busload of young kids who were trapped in an education system that restricts even their mealtimes and bathroom breaks on a “nature trip” in the mountains, letting them have a few hours of “real play” — not an adult-directed learning activity with a structured plan and desired outcome, or a kids camp with a detailed itinerary and strict schedule kind of experience — but just pure child-led and free play with a lot of running and laughing with each other.
While the circumstances displayed in the story were extreme, it does not change the fact that educational systems can and do need to be improved to truly reflect the goal of helping children to realize their full potential and contribute meaningfully to a community that respects and promotes their rights and their overall well-being.
It was a good reminder as we plan out our new adventure this school year as independent homeschoolers. It is our goal to always integrate faith and to give our children the opportunity to be their best versions, by providing them with the right learning tools and experiences, and the best environment to bloom and flourish.
Truly there are so many different ways to do homeschooling, and deciding on what approach, curricula, learning materials, and resources to use can be extremely overwhelming. This episode reminded us to focus on what is important and not lose our joy of learning together as we continue to explore the beauty of homeschooling.
And yes, later is too late. Now is the time for lots and lots of play, because when kids are in college or already working, it will be too late. When they grow up, get married, have kids, and simply have so many responsibilities, it will be too late. Chances are, there might not come another time in their lives when they can play this much.