Monday, January 07, 2008

A Journey

I had this idea that at some point in my home educating journey I would arrive. I would know what I was doing. That I would have many words of wisdom to bestow upon my fellow travelers.
Well it has been 5 years and I feel that I have absolutely nothing to offer. I often feel more lost than I did at the beginning. I think it is more that now I so painfully aware of how much I have yet to learn.
One thing that I have gathered is that boys are often not ready for formal education til much later than our 'school' system would have us believe. Most boys are not ready to sit in a classroom all day at the tender age of 6. I read many blogs of women who have children in school, I read of their struggles with their perfectly normal little boys being shamed and punished for being themselves in school. They are full of energy and life, anxious to explore everything around them. Sitting in a desk for hours at a time is almost impossible, especially without indulging in a little mischief.
These perfectly bright children are being taught to despise school and learning because a traditional classroom is not set up to accommodate their needs. They will fall behind and learn to hide their little lights or they will go the other way and become what it is they seem to be told daily - trouble.
Now I am not faulting teachers here. Teachers have to do the best they can to reach a large number of children in the most effective way possible. To do this they must require some semblance of order in their classroom. This is reasonable. I really do not know how a 'school' can meet the needs of all children. I am not sure how to integrate boisterous, little boys into a classroom, although I am sure it can be done without shaming them. Methods like where teachers put kids names on the board or have a behavior poster on the wall can not be the best way to manage behavior. Shaming kids is never the way to bring out a child's best.

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