We recently blogged about the need for young children to have time to themselves, and their friends.  Times that are not regimented and organized by adults.

Times when curious young minds explore the world around them.  Times when clothes get dirty and make-believe worlds come to life.  Times when a stick unlocks the secrets of a mud puddle or a creek bank.

Christy Hiett is principal at Fruithurst Elementary in Cleburne County.  She is a great believer in letting children be children.  Which is one reason students at her school no longer have homework.

“We want our students to have more free time to play, to explore, to learn to interact with others and to read,” she says.  And she has the records of student performance from when they did homework and when they switched to no homework that validate her position.

On a recent visit with Christy she told me about her seven-year old nephew and how happy he is to wander the woods near his home with his beagle.  And she shared this picture of him and his dog, which truly speaks volumes.

Oh to know what thoughts are going through this young fellow’s head.  What may be around the next bend?  Or does he even care?  And what is his dog thinking?  More than likely he just knows that he is where he is supposed to be.  Right with the one person who loves him more than any other human.

We grownups spend a great deal of time trying to foretell the future and figure out how do we best prepare young boys like this one to be ready to tackle an unknown world’s challenges.

But the innocence of this picture of a boy and his dog gives me comfort that somehow or other, just as has been the case for generations, things will be OK.