The kids come to school at 9:00p.m. and we
start the day with breakfast, unless the kids already ate at home.
I make everything from scratch and the kids love to watch me or help.
Sometimes a big, huge breakfast, sometimes only cereal from the health
food store, sometimes just fruit. Breakfast is a great occasion to
chat, discuss the day, and to check the food groups. For me it is the
time when I turn into the kid's well-being. If a child acts pre
occupied by something or tired I suggest play, rest, or whatever
the child feels like doing.
As the students say:
"It's not like an 'old' school, it's like studying in a home."
If the kids are balanced energy wise they usually say, I'll do this,
or I'll do that. Or they ask the other kids, let's do this or that.
The whole house and the outside is available to them and there are
so many things to do. The house has different areas, i.e. Library,
Music, Science, games, Computers, so that they are spatially structured
disruptive to someone that needs a quiet place.
Activities are done on the sofa, the floor,
desks, grass, etc. outside, inside, wherever comfortable to the kids.
Around noon, unless we are on a field trip, we have lunch, sometimes
a snack in between, or before school is out.
What the students study is determined by the kid's love for learning,
the parents, and myself as educational consultant. As consultant
I recommend to the parents two major sources: international educational
(which I am familiar with and have documents, and the American
Hirsch series: What your first grader,etc, needs to know".
In today's high technology age students are actually going beyond
any requirements, there is no limit to what they learn. I still
like to have some academic guidelines that ensure meeting state, etc.
The older students (ages 7 and up) know that on a "regular" day
they'll do some typing, German or Spanish, Science, Social Science,
Language, Math, etc. They take responsibility for their studies,even
at age 7.
"Let's do some chemistry experiments for Science today"
"I think I'll do my typing now"
"I'd like to do Math Blaster to practice my multiplication today"
Those are comments you'll here from the students.
By the end of the day someone might say, I didn't get this or that done,
I'll focus on it tomorrow. (Often we get involved in a project so
intensely that the time flies by and something else just has to wait).
I keep track every day of what each student does in each subject.
(I actually like paper work). If a student reads a novel I initiate a
on the geographical location of the novel, or the writer, and we
research materials on the subject. Most of the learning is somehow
connected, not seperated. Even typing includes a cute little ghost
that sparks creativity and includes fairy tales.
Absolutely no tests. There is no necessity for it either.
Kids like to test/challenge themselves on computer games and I know
what they know because I work with them individually. If something
is difficult we stick with it, find different ways of learning,
until the student comfortably knows it.
I give grades or tests if parents need it. I personally don't believe in
or grades. Nobody has demanded a test yet, grades yes.
The biggest challenge in all of this?
Kids do not really want to leave when the school is out at 3:00
and on Fridays: "Can we come tomorrow or Sunday?"
Hope this wasn't too long,