What is brute Literacy? And Why Does it Matter?
Until I was around twelve, I was a city kid through and through. I went to a school wedged between skyscrapers and lived in an interior suburb with a front door opening straight onto the busiest street in my suburb.
By today’s standards, I had a surprising amount of freedom. My sister and I took the ferry to school every day alone – crossing Sydney Harbour on the choppy stream with a fresh breeze every morning was a stout way to wake up, but my favourite thing near it was being allowed to handle the amble each day on our own. My sense of station and ability for independent risk assessment happened well developed, but what about the holy grail of childhood loan – free outdoor play?
We walked the dogs and cooked quick trips to the shop with no parents in study – but these trips had strict laws around safety and how long each would grasp, which my sister and I observed religiously.
My cousin’s farm, on the other hand, was another world entirely. There were four of us kids, my sister and me, and our two younger cousins. From my first memories there, the front door was always begin, and if any of us were inside during day hours (usually my sister or me stuck in a book) my aunt would be invariably scared and start wondering aloud if we were sick.
Walking out the door as an eight year old by no expectations by any adult of my presence again pending dinner time was always unnerving when I firstly arrived for the holidays, but I’d soon get into the swing of things again.
My cousins, Bob and Maggie, showed us how unrestricted, outdoor play was done. They never explored to see the point of ‘inside’, and we didn’t desire to be bad sports. They had a estimable collection of bicycles in the echoingly expansive shed a few hundred metres from the house. Their parents would visit the tip shop whenever the yen for a new bike came throughout one of them – and would return among curvaceous vintage bicycles boasting plush seats and front baskets big enough to carry a picnic.
To Bob and Maggie it was the very normal thing in the world to run out of the house at 7am, front-runner to the shed for a bike, set out in any random direction on the mammoth sheep station and keep going until they existed hungry. Then my resourceful cousins would magically effect all manner of treats they’d had the foresight to stock their pockets plus, which we’d enjoy while sitting on frigid, lichen covered granite and surveying the endless views.
I any learned to ride a bike with my parents at a park in the city, an opportunity which opened up the humankind of adventure with Bob and Maggie. Although I had already learned to wobble, it wasn’t until I was riding at the farm that I learned the magic of cycling. With no need for a parent to load the bikes on a car and ability through the city to a park we could bound in, cycling became an instant door to freedom and adventure.
I discovered my value of freedom on my cousins’ farm, and a great confidence in my abilities as I bounced downhill when my cousins, dodging rocks and boulders when shouting ‘no brakes, no brakes!’ at the top of our lungs.
It wasn’t fair my ability to hurtle down a rocky hill on a rusty bike and avoid finish or maiming – the realisation I could do things I had thought were impossible sprouted to life as I ricocheted depressed those hills. I was surer of myself beside every astonished sheep I dodged.
As this substantial literacy grew (my skills in movement, balance, reaction time and so much more) – my self permission, my value of wide-open outdoor spaces, and my notion of the rewards of perseverance all grew in tandem.
I had discovered a commerce which gave me pride, and instant freedom every time I hopped on a bike. I didn’t wave goodbye to this fabulous side of myself when I left the farm at the end of the holidays. I took her and her confidence wait on to school with me, and then I took her on into my adult life. I am now lucky enough to cycle to and from law every day, and it’s never stopped being a thrill.
The fundamental bike I ever really owned was a comely old yellow step through bicycle I found on the barricade of the road while on holidays at our beach house once I was 10. The moment I saw it the joy of riding among my cousins on their farm was caused back to me and I insisted mum let me out of the car so I could wheel it on its flat tyres relieve to our little beach shack (it needed a bit of work afore it would be welcome in the car boot).
That holiday rendered one of my best memories as I learned how to patch tyres and oil a chain to rescue Daisy the yellow bicycle. Looking back now, I’m quite impressed with my young self for figuring out these challenges. My lovely parents are more ideological and academic than practical, so I figured out how to service the tyres, oil the chain and campaign Daisy’s rust problem by simply reading the orders on the back of the products in the local bike shop. Daisy and I spent the rest of the holidays exploring every path and road of the petite beach town.
My pride in repairing my bike and particularly my admire of the freedom it gave me aimed I spent the whole holiday learning new service industries, building my physical abilities, learning the geography of the spot and building my confidence and skills in riding safely in a more built up spot than my cousins’ farm.
I discovered that I could finish the birds on the corner from swooping me by wearing my helmet once putting food under their tree for them, I learned how to ride with one hand and wave to other cyclists I tossed, I learned how to indicate with one arm stuck out (like a actual cyclist!), and I discovered just how considerable smaller the town became when I was on my bike. I didn’t have to spend 25 minutes walking to the shop to get mum slightly milk, and I didn’t even have to earn a carpark at the end of the fling (something I’ve come to appreciate much additional as an adult). Daisy brought so many new areas and things within my advance, like the less crowded beach an additional five kilometres away from the town, and our favourite milk bar. I equal learned to double dink with my sister.
Physical literacy starts beside learning active skills, most effectively through unrestricted outdoor play, but it covers so remarkable more than those basics and evolves to develop our lives and often lifelong interests and hobbies.
It matters because it is the address stone we use to grow as whole land. We walk before we read, and we create and dance before we write. If we’ve learned organization in ourselves in our first challenge, knowing we can retract ourselves up and brush off the dirt because we’ve done it a thousand times by in play (free, outside play) it’s a lot easier to bear we can do it again every daylight we meet a new challenge – and especially every daylight we fail.
This article was available by www.natureplayqld.org.au with title What is Physical Literacy? And Why Does it Matter? – Nature Play QLD.
Please save for reference.