Indeed “play” and “hard work” are not opposites: in fact, they can be seen as synonyms. Anyone who has ever played hard also knows how to work hard. There may be aspects of our play that we dislike, that are not “fun,” but we do them because they are steps in the process we are teaching ourselves, the challenge we are undertaking. And young children tend to play hard, throwing themselves wholly into it, immersing themselves into it as they see fit, to the degree they feel comfortable, up to the point of their interest, until their driving questions are answered.And this is where [others] tend to interject: Ah, but what about the hard work of doing things they don’t want to do? How do you teach them that through play?The short answer is: you don’t.
I have tried for weeks to say this better than Teacher Tom. I haven’t succeeded yet. Check his blog out. If I had the chance to move to Seattle and send my kid to him, I would in a heartbeat.