Moving the Needle on the Concern-Guage
For some time now I've had an ongoing conversation with Little Guy's Mama about learning; specifically, Little Guy's learning style and needs. My Daughter has been asking lots of questions -- I hope I've answered well -- about the best learning environment for Little Guy. It's wonderful to talk with her because she is quite aware of Little Guy's needs and how he best interacts with the world. We've talked quite a bit recently about what learning at home would look like for pre-school, which would be quite a change from participating in a program away from home.
What is most fascinating is how one bit of information has moved the needle on my Daughter's concern-guage from anxious to excited about the possibility of teaching Little Guy at home. Turns out all she needed to feel more confident moving forward was a preschool plan she knows will fit her strengths and Little Guy's needs.
I firmly believe every parent has within herself what is necessary to parent well. I also believe every parent can educate children exceptionally well at home. Of course, I also believe learning paradigms must be chosen to the benefit of each child.
Kindergarten & 2039
I've been thinking about the children who enter kindergarten later this year graduating from high school in 2039 -- whoa! Little Guy will graduate in 2042! And I've been wondering what these kiddos will need to be able to live a life-well-lived in that future world. I asked my Daughter who teaches middle school what she thought and was surprised at her lightening fast response:
"Hope and flexibility."
Wow. That's a stunning thought. Hope as the first of the two most critical things to live well in the future. And flexibility to navigate whatever the future holds. She's talking character - the two most important things my Daughter believes the graduating class of 2039 will need are character traits.
Reexamining Fundamental Values
It's the summer at -- what we hope -- is the end of one of the most challenging seasons in our lives and we may not fully know how the pandemic has transformed our world for quite some time. While it may take years to really understand the cultural changes, it is especially important to begin understanding now how education and school will be transformed by our experiences during the pandemic.
Doreen Dodgen-Magee has written a book -- Restart: Designing a Healthy Post Pandemic Life -- for moving into these somewhat unknown changes with intentional choices for how we live. She sees this time as an opportunity to incorporate healthy, positive choices in our lives rather than simply hoping we will get back to a pre-pandemic normal.
In light of the potential changes coming to our pre-pandemic education & school paradigms, it will take a brave parent to willingly reexamine her fundamental values about learning in order to ensure her children live with hope and flexibility.
But you've got this!
It is reassuring that parents and educators are already thinking and talking about and imagining what learning looks like after our pandemic,