Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Difference School Makes

In the most recent edition of the Home Educator's Family Times, there's an excellent article entitled, "Leaf Jumpers." In the article, the mother describes what happened to her son, who seemed "made for school," when she actually put him in school. She tells how he went from enthusiastically playing the leaves one fall to, "I don't want to jump in the leaves," the next (at age 7). And she explains why she thinks the change took place.

Take a look:

Ben went from playing half of the day in the leaves with his sisters to playing half of an hour on a black top. He went from cuddling on the couch with his family doing math games, reading, and workbooks, to sitting in a classroom in a hard desk with thirty-one other kids, filling out worksheet after worksheet, raising his hand to talk, standing in line – a lot, and keeping his mouth shut. He went from lingering over lunch in his kitchen while talking about the latest topic of interest, to gulping down his food quickly in a loud lunchroom with concrete walls and little windows. It’s no wonder that in just a short two month period this boy no longer wanted to play in the leaves… his spirit had forgotten how. It just didn’t “fit” anymore. He went from actively experiencing God in his everyday life with his family, to mundanely learning about Him on paper…that was the difference.
If you've ever had a child child who seems "made for school," you understand her motivation in putting him there in the first place. My older daughter is like that - she loves other kids, she's a leader, she respects adults and seems to soak up knowledge like a sponge. I've seriously considered putting her in school more than once. But my fear is exactly what happened to little Ben - that she will lose her enthusiasm for life and learning when she meets with situations like those above. And she is turning out so beautifully that I'm very satisfied now keeping her at home.

Fortunately for the author of this article, she was able to pull her son out of school and he regained his joy in living. This year (age 8), he's again anxiously anticipating jumping in the leaves.

1 comment:

Shawna said...

Interesting! And inspiring!!!!