Raising a Sensitive Child

Nourishing Body, Mind and Spirit

Thoughts about school

9 Comments

“I don’t want to go to school. Because they are going to teach me things that I already know. And I know everything. And I’m going to be so bored…” – Moses, a couple of weeks ago

And that’s why I’m nervous about Moses starting Kindergarten next week.

Because the truth is that Moses is ridiculously brilliant. He’s intuitive. He’s bright. He has an amazing photographic memory. He loves to learn. He’s creative. He remembers everything. He has an amazing spatial memory. He has an amazing memory for stories. He has this great analytical mind and puts things together in unique, amazing and creative ways.

And, I’m scared to death that school is going to be so boring for him. And it’s going to dampen his thirst for learning. Plus, I feel that schools intellectualize children way too soon. They are training them to be little adults, and they are not little adults. They are children. They need to learn by playing and exploring their environment.

If you want to explore these themes more, I encourage you to watch this 11 minute talk by Sir Ken Robinson about changing educational paradigms, why the old system isn’t serving our children, and what can be done differently.  I also love what Alexis (a conscious educator and mother of a sensitive child) at Taking the Lid off the Sun writes about conscious education. I recommend reading her post When your child doesn’t fit in the box.

The truth is that my son doesn’t fit in the box. DH and I don’t really fit in the box either. Up until this point, we’ve been happily parenting him in our “sensitive family” bubble. What do other sensitive families do about education? The truth is many sensitive children are homeschooled. I know a ridiculous number of families who homeschool (many of my FB friends are homeschoolers and many of my blog friends are homeschoolers). I am attracted and drawn to families that homeschool.

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’ll know that we were hoping to start a local holistic school / whole child school based on Waldorf and Montessori principles. But…  we’ve hit some road blocks and the school hasn’t been established (yet). I could homeschool him, but the truth is that I don’t think I’m the homeschooling type. (I think I would go crazy homeschooling my son). Plus the fact that financially, it’s important for the family that I also work…

Hence Moses will be going to the neighbourhood school. I’ve heard great things about this school, but the truth is that my intuition is telling me that Moses won’t thrive at this school. It won’t support him and stimulate him in the ways that he needs to be supported and stimulated. And that’s why I’m inwardly freaking out.

Breathing in and breathing out now…

In any case, based on practical and financial reasons, we are going to give the neighbourhood school a try. And I really hope that I’m wrong. I hope that he will thrive and will love school.

But, if he doesn’t thrive at school, I won’t make him stay in the system. I will create a holistic school (with the support of other like-minded families), will homeschool him, or I will school him cooperatively with other like-minded parents.

Moses will receive a conscious education.

The development of his intellectual, emotional physical, and spiritual bodies will be supported.

So be it. And it is so, and so it is.

Updates:

September 10, 2011: Moses enjoyed his first couple of days of school! Read more here.

January 11, 2012: Moses is doing just fine in Kindergarten at his neighbourhood school. He’s made lots of new friends, has tons of girlfriends (they all want to marry him), and he did well on his report card (I still find it weird that they get report cards in Kindergarten). He enjoys it well enough. He likes gym the best. Some days he tells me it’s boring (“all we do is work, work, work at school”…)  Nonetheless, I’m happy that all is well and that the transition has been a smooth one for all.

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Thoughts about school

  1. What a sweetheart, Moses’s comment sent chills through me, so wise. My heart is with you. Interestingly enough just today I was exploring this option myself and am including the links on options readily available via the web. Its Very encouraging.

    http://www.time4learning.com/scope-sequence/index.shtml
    http://www.amblesideonline.org/

    Love,
    Carla

  2. Oh Janice…Isaac has said these EXACT words – but he also has always known that he would never have to go to school. He and Moses are so similar. All the things you said about Moses, I believe apply to Isaac. And ever since he was a small baby, I knew he didn’t fit inside the box. He’s just always been so different from other kids we know. He is AMAZING…and I don’t want the school system to squash his spirit. It’s so beautiful…and I know that they can’t accommodate him and support him the way I can…so I keep him home. We unschool.

    You said that you think you would go crazy homeschooling, Moses. What part of having him home with you all day would drive you crazy? Is it the “teaching”…or the intensity…or the amount of time it takes? I’m just curious…not being judgemental.

    I think you are amazing for giving these thoughts a voice…for thinking about them. So many people ship their kids off to school…because it’s “what you do.” You know Moses better than anyone else…you will make sure he gets all that he needs. No doubt. ❤

  3. Oh, this makes me kind of sad, but glad there is a tone of hope here. It is so wonderful for Moses that you are conscientious about his educational needs.

    I always thought I would homeschool Michael for preschool, but my heart led me to a Montessori preschool–it seemed like the perfect fit for him. People ask me where he will go after preschool, and I honestly tell them I don’t know…whatever seems right when the time comes. In fact, I think it’s about time to write my post on that! (Been waiting all summer to write it, lol).

    I hope you can get that holistic school started! I think it’s such an amazing concept, to integrate the great qualities of different methods (that is what it is, right?). Good luck!

  4. Hi Carla: Thanks for the support and the homeschooling links — isn’t it interesting how in tune we seem to be on things… 🙂

    Hi Debbie: Our boys are two peas in a pod! I’m comforted in knowing how similar Isaac and Moses are and by the example that your family provides in how you are gently and lovingly raising him.

    I haven’t really given homeschooling / unschooling a real consideration, but my first impression is that it would drive me crazy. Yes, the intensity. The being present and mindful all day long. I know that if I were to go down this road, I would need to do it with support and community.

    Finances right now are a true consideration, but I’m thinking that if I really needed to, I could work halftime and homeschool halftime, maybe cooperatively with another family. I really feel that could work.

    Right now, DH isn’t considering homeschooling at all, but I’ve always told him that if Moses doesn’t thrive in school, I will homeschool him. And, I know that DH is also feeling anxious about Moses starting school.

    Hi Lisa: That’s great that Michael is in the Montessori preschool. I went to a Montessori school when I was 6 years old and really thrived in it. It’s such a great program. Moses went to a Montessori-inspired preschool on Saturdays last year and loved it. That’s what education should be — fun, hands-on, inspiring and child-led! And it had a great space — such a high vibration. I look forward to hearing about your upcoming blog post about your thoughts on education and where Michael will be going after this year…

    Our holistic school group is going to meet soon and see if there’s still an interest to start the holistic school… Fingers crossed!!!

    Love and blessings to you all — it’s helpful that I have a community of like-minded friends supporting me and my family.

  5. Hi Janice — We homeschool and it has been a wonderful fit for our family. I too thought I could never do it…but it’s not as daunting as it sounds (just sayin’ 😉 )

  6. Hi Linda: Thanks for sharing…. If we decide to go that route, you will be one of the first people I contact for advice!!!!! How old are your children, btw?

  7. Hi Janice 🙂

    Our eldest ds is 19 (starting college in a couple of days 🙂 ), dd is 17 and youngest ds is 13

  8. Hello 🙂 I came across your story for the first time today. I am glad to know that your little boy, Moses is getting better. I was searching for answers for my son, when your blog came up. I have a twelve yr old with an Ige of 43,000. His bloodwork shows that he is allergic to every food and he has severe airbourne and contact allergies. In reality almost everything makes him ill. I am interested to know exactly how you got your sons Ige down so drastically. What is Heilkunst? Our specialists just tell us to keep avoiding and continue preventing, which is physically impossible, when everything around us is a cause (allergen.) I wanted to protect my son too when he was little, so I paid for a very expensive, private school. I realized, about three years ago, that the best thing for him was an average setting, with typical circumstances, away from mom. He has a 504 Hospital Home-bound Plan within the public schools and it is the greatest thing ever. His IEP is special for his medical condition and accomodations are set by his doctor and mom. He attends school when he is well and there is no limit for absences and no doctors note is needed (no questions asked.) I encourage you to do the same 🙂 Your assigned IEP specialist will hold a meeting or email all of your sons teachers and caretakers to alert them of his condition and accomodations. My son is also extremely smart, but the greatest benefit from school is learning how to deal with his discomforts away from home, educating his peers about his condition, knowing when to speakup if he is ill before its too late and advocating for himself now that he is older. I started out working at his school during his first four yrs., to keep an eye on him. He then switched to public school and started in the third grade. His biggest challenge was the cafeteria, because of the noise, smells and tastey foods he could not have. He was ill for the first year, but then he was able to relax and adjust. I realized that mom couldn’t shelter him forever and prevent every bad situation from arising. The challenges he faced were painful, but necessary. The reality is that there will always be foods around him he can’t have and things that he can’t do or touch. His greatest frustration is food, because he can only eat about four foods, all of which need to be sent from home. Anyway I have so much to share with you, but at another time. Doctors have only mentioned terrible drugs like prograf and methotrexate to lower his immune system. We did it for two years when he was little, but we never saw any results. I am opposed to it and it seriously hurt his liver. My son doesn’t get skin infections, unless he scratches w dirty hands at school. He is always itchy and his skin is always hurt and irritated. He has severe eczema and allergic reations left and right. We are on prednisone almost all the time. Can you share the names of your meds w me? Good luck with your son and God Bless your family. Thanks for sharing cuz I didn’t think there was anyone out there with an Ige like ours. Feel free to ask any questions, I would also like to help you. I might have some helpful tips, since my son is twice your sons age.

  9. Hi Rosalie: I’ll respond to your comment more fully in an email, but wanted to thank you so much for sharing your story. A full list of what we are doing with Moses can be found here: https://crystalchild.wordpress.com/supplements/

    Heilkunst is a form of homeopathy. I’ve written more about this here: https://crystalchild.wordpress.com/heilkuns/

    I feel that increasing glutathione levels can help our children (and has been helping Moses). https://crystalchild.wordpress.com/glutathione/

    Happily, Moses has actually been doing just fine in school. I was worried how he would do socially, but he’s been doing just fine. He is well liked at school and is very comfortable there. Hopefully this will continue as he gets older.

    Many blessings to you and your family!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s