Wednesday, 20 October 2010

When school gets in the way...

It occurred to me today that school (for Colin) always seems to be in the way of our learning. Seriously. As I wrote the post yesterday about cool learning moments, I reflected on the fact that Colin still seems to do most of his learning at home. I know he spends 6 hours a day at school, and I'm aware that the new curriculum is "play-based learning," but I don't seem much of the fruits of all that time spent there. His favourite station at school is Lego. He has a huge bucket of that here, and has much more time to build intricate creations. At school he barely gets going before the little bell is rung that signals moving onto another station.

And when was the last time a kindergarten teacher explained a concept like "disperse" or "divert?" When was the last time a kindergarten teacher simply sat with a child and let that child's mind wander over questions, posing them, mulling over the answers, and then asking more questions? At school, he doesn't get to listen to me playing the guitar in the background, have scripture discussions over lunch, or spend the morning outside simply because the weather is beautiful today.

There is so much Colin wants to learn and discover, and I find myself constantly rushing him onto the bus and off to school where he isn't really learning much at all. It's like we put learning on pause for six hours, and then press resume once he comes back home.

I know I don't have as much time as I would like to devote to teaching Colin. With a baby and a toddler in tow, Colin generally gets the last of my attention, since the other two often have some sort of immediate need. But I can see just a year or two down the road that we could spend hours discovering the world around us, the four of us together. The world is our classroom! Just as long as school doesn't get in the way...

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