Monday, August 26, 2013

I have lots to learn about schools today.

"Did you like homework when you were a little girl, Mama?" I love the way he says girl—his R's are still the little-kid kind, articulated in a way that's not quite right but entirely age-appropriate, according to my sis, the speech-language pathologist.

Under my watch (read: restoring him to a seated position every time he cartwheels off the chair) he's completing his first homework assignment, one that prompts him to write in little squares things about himself: what he's good at (digging rocks), what are his hobbies (puzzles, museums and hiking), what kind of ice cream is his favorite (maple and vanilla) and what places he's visited (Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Cape Cod). His responses to this assignment seem to lend evidence to my theory that this  little guy is going to dig school.

What sort of makes sense. I did. And so did his dad.

"Yes, Jules, I liked homework. I still like homework. Learning things is super fun, don't you think?"


What I didn't always like was sitting in a chair, still. What I didn't like was being quiet. Memorizing and regurgitating facts whose importance I couldn't really place in the real world. Focusing on information that felt static. Having to try to concentrate in a silent space. I still struggle with these things. And I think someone else might too.

I've heard amazing things about our community school—and I hope they're all true. I think it's important to know things, a lot of things. But I think it's even more important to be curious enough to explore the space all around the stuff that's known and imagine how you might fill in what's missing, to seek out the synergies that allow for evolution—and to know when it's time to shut the books and play music in your underpants.

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