Monday, October 22, 2012

The Real Challenge...

"Mom," he said carrying his science book into the room, "what were those birds we saw this summer at the museum called? Were they finches?"

"Yes." I answered, in a bit of a hurry to move on to my next task.

"Look, here they are in my book and see this Honeypot ant? It's a kind of ant from Australia that's still alive, I mean it hasn't become extinct."

 "Cool," I responded all the while moving on to the next thing which I think was brushing my teeth.

"Mom! Check out this article about the FDA and new regulations, it's interesting." Interesting maybe, over my dinner-cooking head, absolutely. The poor girl had to tell me about her current event three times before I stopped body and brain long enough to focus.

"Mommy! Are you ready to do my reading lesson?" Nooooooooooo. "Yes, get the book and meet me on the couch."

"Mom, what am I supposed to do in math. It says to draw a star and I don't know how." Then just make circles instead. "OK, let's work on it."

Kate accompanied me to the grocery store one day and the cashier asked, "Is she too little to be in school?"

"No ma'am," I answered, "I teach her at home."

"Oh, you know," she said with a very interested look on her face, "I see more and more home schooled kids in here with their moms. Lots of people are doing that lately. It must be so difficult. You must have to be so disciplined."

I guess there's some sort of discipline required on a day-in-day-out basis, but it's not the discipline of "doing school" that challenges me, it's the being present in each scholarly conversation and interaction all throughout the day

...and THEN it's the being present in each non-scholaraly interaction when school has ended.

 Like it or not, our school day exists within the realm of a home that coughs up dust bunnies, and dirty dishes. School happens in a family that requires meals, haircuts, and every now and then, some adventure.

The students, like those in every kind of educational setting, need, on occasion, to be challenged, corrected, and inspired and all of that requires attention...more attention to science than to dinner, more attention to language arts than to laundry, more attention to students than to the stuff they leave in their wake.

That's the real challenge, being present in my own home, in my own day, among my own students and living outside of my own head and encouraging my students to do likewise...daily.

{Family portrait by Molly.}

 "The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention."
~Richard Moss


G'ma suz said...

Very simply, AMEN! Richard Moss's comment didn't miss the mark either. Guess he tried to talk with someone doing laundry and cooking also! Love, MOM

Tiffany said...

Love all of this; you hit the nail right on the head! And, precious pictures!

Miss Janet said...

So true! You are to be commended for all you do. Such special times, and they are being documented with pics. What a treat for them to view after they are grown. Great job.

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