I'm not sure whether to file this under "refreshing" or "obvious," but a Canadian teacher who reads Lenore Skenazy's Free Range Kids blog has written in to report that
a few teachers at my school have decided to run a soccer house league during lunch hour for our students in grades 4-6. We have about 150 students in these grades. Typically, our extra-curriculars are very popular because most of our school population stays for lunch and we are a high needs, low-income area so free programs are usually filled quickly. My colleagues and I were very surprised that only 12 kids signed up! I asked my students why they didn't sign up. Did they not know about it? Are they going home for lunch now? Do they not have running shoes? "No," one of my students explained, "We'd rather go outside and play our own game of soccer." What??? "We don't need a teacher to help us play a game."
That's right! My students are capable enough that they can find a bunch of kids, a ball, some grass, organize their teams and a code of conduct for scorekeeping. Imagine that! Kids organizing their own sports and games!