The Land of All Things Lewis

When I see birches bend to left and right…I like to think some boy's been swinging from them. -Robert Frost

The Idea School

on 5 December, 2005

When we lived in Northern California there were wonderful Charter Schools in our area. Most of them were a Waldorf mix. I really, really loved them. We almost stayed in California (we were getting out of the military) just because of those schools. Our present state won’t pass Charter Schools. I love the idea of parents being able to make the choices in education for their children. I love giving everyone a chance to become more involved in their schools. The charter we looked into had to have Parents volunteer their time because they just plain needed it. They couldn’t afford to take care of everything or pay attendants for children on the playground.

These kids were just plain awesome. They were kind and helpful. I saw older children tying younger children’s shoes for them. I met one little girl who had a lot of potty accidents in Kindergarten. But, no one teased or taunted her. She kept clothes on hand and was able to get up if needed. Children could pee when they wanted. Children who needed more movement could get up and walk around. They were taught what things were disruptive but they were allowed the room they needed.

They had onsite childcare for younger children and afterschool care. There was a very fine line between the teachers and parents. All the kids used everyone’s first name, yet I never saw a teacher disrespected.

I did see a lot of amazing learning and artwork.

I was just thinking this morning…What would I like to see in schools. I would really like to see year round schooling. That whole break things is just way too much. All you do is get into trouble and forget everything you learned. Most families now can’t afford long vacations and they can’t afford summer child care. I would like to see 2 hour work and school lunches. I would like to see more schools, so that we can have smaller schools in every neighborhood. I think children should be able to walk to school or go to a school in their parents work neighborhood. Many office buildings already have in house child care. How about if they got some kind of tax break for having an in house school. Wouldn’t it be nice to go on downstairs and check in with your kids and walk them down to the park for lunch?

I read and I have been questioned on socialization of schools. That’s the number one reason we don’t want our kids in school. That isn’t proper socialization. Someone becomes the leader and everyone follows. That’s how kids work. If you leave them alone they just follow who is biggest and oftentimes baddest. On a sidenote I had to check to see if baddest was really a word. It was in the dictionary, but it is slang. I’ll try not to use it in my daily language. Children need to mesh with different age groups. So, many families are only having 1 or 2 children. Those children need exposure to other age groups. It will help them be better adults and leaders. Mostly, it will prepare them for adulthood. It will prepare them to be better parents and spouses. It will prepare them for the working world where they won’t just work with 25 year olds or 45 year olds.

Until my perfect little world comes around, I think we will just keep on doing what we are doing. So far, it’s going really well.

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