This was in response to a wonderful post by Patricia Zaballos of Wonderfarm.
As a part time public school teacher and part time home school mom I find myself in the midst of two different worlds. I know what is good for kids but it is very difficult to bring all that into the classroom. We have so many standards!! I really don’t like it that we do, so I try to give them the best and somehow hit the standards as well (not always easy;)
I home school my 7 year old son (2 days a week) as school is quite difficult for him, especially the work part, and writing. He was recently diagnosed with ADHD but I’m not quite buying that label. Dictation is the only way for him to get his thoughts down. If I have him write on his own it’s short, choppy, not much to it. If I offer to be his secretary then bam! I get the whole scoop. He loves to draw and add speech bubbles and make signs on post it notes; that’s writing in my book! His teacher at school, however, expects something a little different! I truly think he gets bored with the read a story do the workbook pages format. Yawn! He would rather look at National Geographic, listen to Magic Tree House books on CD or “read” his civil war books. Now were getting interesting!
Your thoughts also inspire me as a teacher (grades 4-6). We are required to teach several different essay formats (persuasive, narrative, etc). So many of my students can’t think of what to say! The time they had the most to say was when I had them write a persuasive piece about why they should get more recess. They actually came up with some convincing ideas (we need to get our energy out so we can focus on learning and the teachers need more time to eat and prepare) that were presented at a staff meeting. They now have a longer recess twice a week! Why did they write so well and have so much to say? Because they cared. It mattered to them. Why would you write about anything else?