Learning to be a kid, does not only happen while being at school. It happens everywhere a child exists, on a 24 hour basis. It is at home, in the sandpit, up a tree, mingling with friends, prodding an ant or slurping on an orange. It is everywhere and far too much time in the modern world of education is spent on things that individuals will never use, in their life time.
Learning can only happen when the mind is ready to absorb the information or when it has learnt sufficient information to process the new information. We talk about the need to push kids to remember hords of useless stuff, sort of like we do, when we buy a house. We fill it with useless 'stuff' that we will never use. Just 'stuff' to fill the space, because we feel it is better than leaving it empty. However, when we come to place something in the space - we have to get rid of the thing that gathered dust in that corner of the room, that thing that scratched the floor, that thing we banged our legs on everytime we passed, that thing we traded hard earned dollars to acquire, long before we can place something that really matters or is honestly useful, to our lives. We trade our time, lives, individualism, passions and care for others to acquire 'stuff'. Schooling in the western world is so much the same. We teach kids to acquire 'stuff' - useless 'stuff' and we don't teach them enough to acqure things that will helpf them live their lives. - life skills. Things that will help them survive and we totally forget about letting them be a kid - the very thing they need to find out who they are, what they enjoy, what they love, what is really important in life.
The job of learning and being a kid is getting more, more difficult everyday; the job of being a teacher has never been more stressful. We pass those stresses over to kids and we wonder why we have problematic, sick rebellious children. Maybe sitting, daydreaming, watching the clouds roll by is all they need. There is something to be said for being bored. The brain really does need a time to just sit, like water seeping through sand - the brain needs time for information to filter through the billions of ill-connected messages, time for it to keep what it needs and throw away what it deems unnecessary.
Unfortunately, we still school our children, just like the child down at the end of the block. They all go to the same educatonal factories, to churn out factoids of 'stuff'.