12 August 2010

Peer Age Groups

Well, I have taken only a few pictures of my own kids in the past few months. However, in the past 4 days I have taken about 90 pictures of the 10 kids in my class. Tomorrow is (thankfully) my last day and this week I have been making a "photo diary" of the activites of the kid's day so their parent can "see" what they're up to each week. I feel so much for the parents of these children! As I was downloading all the pictures, my husband says, "do you just love these kids so much?" and I had to admit, no, I did enjoy them, but it wasn't for the kids that I took the pictures. It was for their parents.

Quite a few of the kids had their birthday in the past 5 weeks that I have been in their room. Many of the parents would come by for lunch or bring approved cupcakes in honor of the day. Plenty of invitations were put in the cubbies. But some of the parents couldn't or didn't get away for their child's birthday, and that made me sad. I am probably the only teacher there that worried about it.

Having worked in a preschool environment thiis summer has solidified all my thoughts about why we homeschool. I read today in some blog's comments that she homeschools not as an educational choice but as her family's lifestyle choice- a conscious choice for togetherness and unity.

One thing I noticed about the kids being grouped together by age.... abilities or lack thereof really stand out. In my house, with my kids spanning 7 years, they know that some of them can do a task and some of them are learning; that some of them are the example and some of them are the ones watching. The big ones become the teacher and helper of the younger ones.

In the classroom, they all knew that (so-n-so) was the slow one who couldn't cut or write his name or whatever. They knew that (so-n-so) was the one who always got praised for her careful cutting or her knowledge of the shapes or letters. I had to work hard to teach my students to come alongside one another and assist each other, instead of chat amongst themselves about the obvious deficiencies of their peer. They were shocked that they got stickers on their charts for simple things like saying "Good job on your cutting- you're getting better!"

I am looking forward to the next week here at home once again. I hope to spend the week reconnecting with my kids and bringing them back around to a homeschool lifestyle. How I am newly thankful for late wake-ups, slow breakfasts, and one-on-one, unrushed time with each of them. Napping together, reading books on the couch, and making lunch. Even the 15-minute cleanups are going to be refreshing, for a while at least! I have only seen my kids in little snippit visits over the past 5 weeks. A stolen moment here or there in the hall as our classes pass. A few moments under the hawkish stare of classmates when I'm on my lunchbreak. And then, of course, the tired and hungry hour after "camp" is over and we make our way home again. Tramping exhausted throught the grocery store and hurrying home to let the dogs out.


I wanted to say thank you to my readers... you've been great to come check back even when I've flaked out. I have to tell you, when a blogger gets comments, she feels a relationship and comes back to write more. I know some of you have issues with the comment form procedure, let me assure you that it is not by choice!! I think it might have to do with your browser, but I don't know.

I'm so pleased you are reading Higher Education! Click on the post title to leave a comment.Teresa (Tracy) Dear

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