This week my husband and I got a call from our daughter’s school. They were wondering what our plans were for next year. We were a little uncertain why we were getting the call, we knew there were some program changes coming but it was our community school and our other daughter had spent her elementary years there. I just happened to be at the school the next day and I brought it up with the secretary. It appears our little one has been telling all of her friends and teachers that next year she is going to be home-schooled.
Now I won’t say that the topic had never come up at home. One of her best friends is being home-schooled and is quite happy learning that way. And while our little one seems quite happy at school, she is also loves the safety of her own home where her unusual sense of humour and her intriguing questions keep us smiling. But home-schooling? That is a huge commitment and…how important is it that she learn to understand and live within a system? Even if we know the system isn’t perfect?
If I step back and reflect on her request I wonder to myself if what she is really asking is for her parents to be more involved in her learning. Every day through the formal and informal curriculum, educators are sharing life altering experiences. I don’t think I am being over-dramatic here. To truly learn something new means to be transformed as each lesson offers a new way of understanding the world around us. To be involved in our children’s learning means that we grow and change together. If I listen carefully to her request I can hear her say: “Be with me on this journey. I want to stay connected to you.”
Though every day we have conversations about how things are going in school, I mostly trust that what needs to be taught is being taught. And while I do my job and my children do theirs, we slowly grow apart. Some people will tell you that this is all part of growing up and letting go. Others will tell you that the attachment between families is what holds our world together.
Want to stay more connected? There is a new resource that you can find at Alberta Learning that is pretty amazing. Every grade level, every subject level, access to a list of resources that you can use t enhance their learning. If you know what they’re learning you can have the conversations with them that allow them to know you are with them on this journey of transformation.