Thursday, October 16, 2008

Preschool Education

This photo is of a group of people in rural Southland. The children range in age from 11 days through to almost 5. This is a Playgroup, an almost casually organised group of parents who meet several times a week so their children can 'play' together. The children have a wide range of activities to try, though the paint was not out on the day I was there, as I need clean faces for the portraits.
I find this type of 'preschool education' to be one where the children are very relaxed and busy. Because of the high number of parents present, it becomes a social outing for everyone, with tea coffee and home baking for the adults, and each child has a chance to have morning tea with their friends. It would be fair to say that the children are much 'easier' from the photographers point of view, and the only objection to having one's photo taken is that someone else may get the best bike while the photo is being taken. This is not "bunging the kids in preschool" Jim Mora, this is the true socialisation of the young into a group. They expect to have some 'formal' times like mat time, but mostly they choose for themselves those things that interest them. Over the years I have been photographing the children at this place, I have come to realise that being there is like having a day off, compared with some of the places I go.
Some of them travel some distance to get there, and so do I. All agree it is well worth it.
Thanks for having me again.

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