Should Kids Make the Rules at School?

early childhood education
Nursery School Kids Make Their Own Rules

Sometimes school rules seem so random and unreasonable. It can be challenging for little kids especially to understand why certain rules are in place.

Some schools figure that by letting the kids be involved in the process of creating rules, they’ll be more likely to follow them.

Blogger Teacher Tom recently wrote about the classroom rules that the 3-5 year old students created at the co-operative preschool where he works in North Seattle. Some of them are pretty funny!

Here’s how it works: the kids come up with ideas for rules and then once they’re approved by a concensus of the kids, they’re added to the list. Throughout the year, new rules are added.

“The adult’s role is to observe when one of these rules is being violated, point to the list and say, ‘You and your friends agreed that there would be no hitting (or kicking, or name calling, etc.),’ explains Teacher Tom. “We want the children to know that the classroom belongs to them and making their own rules is one of the important ways we do this.”

So what did Teacher Tom’s students come up? Here is an abbreviated list from the 2009-2010 class:

No punching
No real or pretend guns
No kicking
No stomping on fingers
No pinching
No cutting off fingers
No hitting
No dropping blocks on people
No pretending other people are dead.
No calling people “Yuck”
No name calling.
No throwing water, especially on glasses and especially on people.
No throwing grenades or dynamite
No standing on sharp things
No knives.
No putting knives in other people’s eyes
No standing on drums
No ripping birthday throne
No throwing people in water
No ripping down the school
No slamming people in the door
No sticking knives in people’s noses
No wasting food
No pushing people off the birthday throne.

But I think these are my favorite:
No throwing pumpkins at people (or throwing pumpkin juice)
No bowling inside
No messing up bows and scarves
No getting in the toilet
No painting people’s noses
No cutting ears

It’s certainly a much more creative and exhaustive list than most teachers would come up with.

I can think of a few more to add:
No slaying dragons.
No building skyscrapers.
No littering.
No polluting.
No running around naked.

What rules would you add to the list? And do you think this would work at your school or at home with your kids?

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photo: flickr/cafemama

Article Posted 6 years Ago
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