Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Get ready!

The dreaming of yesterday spilled into the planning and doing of today.  Lessons were taught by Nicholas, the latest professed member of our small faculty.  It was a treat to be in the room next door, folding laundry while overhearing their conversations.  Here's one I managed to write down, while trying not to laugh out loud:

  ~ Nicholas:  Do you want to learn your name?
  ~ Astrin:  Yah!
  ~ Nicholas:  This letter is an A.  What letter is this?
  ~ Astrin:  A!
  ~ Nicholas:  Do you want to draw an A?
  ~ Astrin:  No!!!

With all the giggling and enthusiasm I heard, I knew my children had given one another the gift of respect and the sense that each of them were valued by the others. 

They worked together and played all morning, making sure there was time for two recesses!  What a great school!

The real treat for me was to listen for clues as to how I might teach, which Nicholas modelled.  I loved his enthusiasm - I could hear his bright smile from next door, and he showed patience and understanding that Astrin's best effort for drawing shapes wouldn't be the same as his.  I appreciated all the effort he put into the lessons he created for Astrin.  He carried out his plans just as he had wanted to.  I also noticed that he had a tendency to rapid-fire questions, without giving Astrin an opportunity to answer.  I wonder if I do the same thing, and have just never noticed it before.  Hmmm...something to pay attention to in the days and weeks ahead.

Later in the afternoon, we made our way to the craft store for all the dragon supplies that were requested.  Paints, markers, poster board and mat board were carefully looked at and selected.  I found it difficult to watch my tongue and let the children lead, particularly when they changed their minds to go with mat board instead of free cardboard.  While I didn't tell them what to get, I did ask questions to get a better sense of the mental picture my children had created.  "What is the poster board for?  What will you do now that we know they don't have the colour you want?"  I also went through each item that wound up in the cart and asked what it's purpose was. 

And then the work of making the dragons began around the kitchen table, as I started making supper.  Drafts of what the dragons would look like turned into dragon battle scenes for my son.  My daughter opted to draw a multi-fruit tree before turning to A Practical Guide to Dragons for inspiration and guidance.

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