electric boogaloo

Schoolifesto

You can find lots of web sites already devoted to explaining the different methods and philosophies of teaching. There’s classical, lecture, child-led, radical unschooling, eclectic, project-based, relaxed. There’s people’s names like Montessori, Emelio, Waldorf, Birkenstock. Free school. Military style. I’ve never heard of anyone implementing a boarding school at home, but it’s probably working for someone.

I remember being a kid. I remember being in school, being tired and bored. I remember being embarrassed, stressed, anxious. I remember being angry. I remember trying to be invisible and wait them out. I was a mess, I had awful handwriting, I didn’t speak up in class.

But I was a fast reader, a good writer, and I could draw.

This is the experience that qualifies me to educate: I remember being a child. I remember what did not work. And if I quiet my mind and tread carefully back, I can think about what might have worked instead.

At the same time, my kids are not clones of me. They make friends easily. One is a reader, the other is not. They’re more active and flexible and less anxious than I was. They’re also boys, which seems to mainly translate into quantities of fart jokes. So I have to be ready to move everything around to meet them where they are, not just where I imagine they are or should be.

As I write this, I’m realizing that it’s hard to explain. I will be back with examples.

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