Friday, September 11, 2009

Back To School

Big week... Tuesday was back to school. Becca (8th grade) and Harry (5th grade) returned to World Learner School which is a Montessori charter school in Chaska. We decided that Bella (2nd grade) needed more repetition to fully cement important concepts in her mind. And so... Rowe Academy was born. Yes, I am going to homeschool for Bella for 1/2 of the day and then she will go to World Learner in the afternoon. I have to say that last Sunday and Monday I was having a bit of a panic attack. The following thoughts (and more) were running rampant in my mind: What are you thinking? You can't teach! Have you lost your mind? Do you really want to be responsible for educating a child? Well, I have to say that so far the days have gone quite well. I have my teacher's planner (so official) and all of the books I chose over the summer as our curriculum. I am also using an online computer program called Time4learning for language, science, and social studies. I'm sure I will learn and evolve a lot over the year from this experience.

Harry had an interesting first week at school. He is working to become more organized and thoughtful in his work. Last year, he had some issues with getting behind and not turning in his follow-on to lessons. After many discussions this summer about the importance of establishing daily/weekly priorities in school work, Harry appears to be committed and focussed.

Now for the interesting part of the week. Yesterday, Harry and a classmate decided they were interested in making contact with the Dalai Lama. At first they had considered writing him a letter, but after some thought, decided it would be quicker to call him. Now for those of you not familiar with Montessori, the overall theme is to follow the child. "No," is not a word that Montessori teachers like to use as they feel it limits a child's learning. Harry asked his teacher if he could call the Dalai Lama and his teacher said yes, but that she didn't know his number. So off to google goes Harry and the other boy. Amazingly enough, the Dalai Lama has his own website complete with a phone number. I haven't actually confirmed this, it is what Harry told me. Anyway, the phone number began with may be able to see where this story is going. Harry dials the number starting with 911 and is surprised when he is connected to 911 emergency. He tells the person that he has the wrong number and then hangs up. He calls again and you guessed it, the 911 operator answers again. This time the person asks to speak to Harry's teacher. I am not sure what the teacher said (I still have an email to ask for her recap of the whole situation), but I do know that the sheriff also came to the school during recess to get some additional information. Ah...the beauty of Montessori. Follow the child and you never know where the road will lead. Sometimes, I wish Harry would take the road more traveled, but that's not his nature.

Becca started her school year on a middle school retreat. Every year they use the first couple days of school to go on a retreat so the kids can form a bond that will hopefully carry over to the school. It seems like she had fun, but she had a run in with leeches in the lake and she has the broken capillaries in her hands to prove it.

I wonder what next week will bring...

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