I wanted to say, that I have been so incredibly moved by the amount of kindness and support that we have been shown; kindhearted souls that continuously want to help and cheer us on as we start this new journey. This is a big change for us and I have different feelings about it at different parts of the day.
As a trained and experienced elementary teacher, I still believe in the public school system…for most children. Especially, when your child has the opportunity to work with a dedicated, talented, kind and caring teacher. My son had one of those teachers last year and he came home sharing the interesting experiments and ideas that she shared. His face lit up when he saw her. He felt respected and supported by the accommodations that naturally, she just knew how to do. She got it.
I know that it can be good. When it is that good, kids thrive and grow and take chances. As most of you know, that was not our experience this year and we had to change things. Most of the day, I know that this decision was the right one; however, I have moments where I let my worries about the future creep in and cloudy up my perspective.
Will he develop the skills and stamina to meet and tackle challenges and be able to overcome them?
Although I am a teacher with years of experience and a MA in Curriculum Development, can I teach my own son well?
How will we ever get him back in a “real” classroom? Does it matter?
Many of you that commented on my last post, are currently homeschooling or unschooling. I loved hearing your ideas and suggestions and I’ve taken them seriously as we balance restoring my TBP’s excitement in learning with my own need to make sure that lots of learning is taking place.
Initially, I wanted my son to have lots of traditional “school time” in the morning with his sweet and patient caregiver. I believe this was my teacher mind and now, we are leading with compassion instead. We have adjusted our expectations and are filling our days with valuable learning. It just isn’t the kind that you see on a worksheet.
We are observing dragonflies and watching videos about their flight and surprisingly strong predatory status.
We are reading different kinds of books.
We are excavating crystals and learning about vocabulary such as transparent, translucent, turbid, and dolomite.
We are spending time outdoors, looking for life as we notice the arrival of spring.
We are going to art museums and other educational trips for a “roam school” approach.
We are setting up bird feeders and observing which seeds are consumed and which birds are attracted to those seeds.
We are using math to build, to bake, and to keep track of time.
We are watching the Cosmos series and other National Geographic shows that go with his third grade science curriculum.
What I witness, is a calmer child. I see smiles and hear jokes and laughter that had been missing for way too long!
Thank you for your patience and support as we learn how to do this and break old habits of thinking about education in only the most traditional fashion.