Sunday, October 30, 2011

Education

The most wonderful thing happened this month.

Since you started going to school (at 20 months) you had, at least once a week, dragged your feet and complained about having to go.  However, during the month of October you have not complained once, not even a little bit and I think this is WONDER-FUL mostly because it makes me WONDER-LESS: I don't have to wonder if someone is bullying you, or if your teacher is nice to you or if you are making any friends or if you are bored.  Ahhhh... relief!

This is your class: Spacehouse.  
You think your teacher Tia Lore rocks and you have 3 very close friends.
La Sofia who is standing right next to you and who refuses to wear her uniform.
El Gabriel (first boy standing from left to right), you think he is the funniest kid in your class.
El Leandro (third boy sitting from left to right) who is very active and whom you have learned to calm down by stroking his head.
You've had cool stories about both play and learning at school almost every day.
Estas dos ultimas semanas has aprendido mucho acerca de la Amazonia. 
Has hecho serpientes, cervatanas, has explorado la ropa y hábitos de los indios.

Every time we go by a bookstore you ask to go in and either you browse through a book on your own or ask me to read you one. Last week while at the bookstore, you asked me to find you a book about the Amazonia :D. I ran like a mad woman looking for one, ecstatic that you were motivated to learn more about a subject that had peeked your interest.

The timing of this event could not have been better, since I had been obsessing the past couple of months over choosing your "big" kid school by doing research, visiting campuses, meeting with teachers, filling in applications and weighing things like:
collaborative or competitive?
curriculum based or themed based?
small or large?
diverse or homogenous, and then what kind of diversity (nationality, economically, religious)?
solid art programme or solid sports programme?
What about the friends you have now, would it be better for you to go to the same school most of them go to, given all the changes you have been and will continue to be exposed to?
and so on...

So when you asked for that book I was reminded of the single most important expectation I have for any learning institution and that is for it to nurture the natural curiosity children have and allow for them to run with it.

This was a calming realization and so we choose the Cotopaxi Academy. You went in for you admission evaluation with the school psychologist and "played" with her for well over an hour and were eagerly admitted.  I took you on a tour of the facilities and you liked them a lot. So hopefully the transition will be a good one a year from now.

In the meantime, there is still plenty of time to continue to enjoy playtime and the friends you have made there. As well as those activities you have come to love
like ballet

while we explore new ones like baseball
video
Sweeeeet!

Today I am grateful for that spark of self directed learning.

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