Imagine that it’s a Wednesday morning and you left the house 15 minutes late because you and your child just couldn’t find the matching sock he wanted. You both feel relieved that you aren’t actually late for school because of the 30 minute flexible start time that allows for you to have “one of those mornings” without your child starting the school day stressed that he’s late.
Imagine that as your child arrives at school she is greeted by friends that are programming the Cubetto robot to take a cool adventure to the moon. Your daughter jumps right in and makes a exciting contribution to the group’s efforts.
Imagine a peaceful chime signaling the start of the school day, as all of the children gather around the Morning Time table. It’s your son’s turn to share anything he wants – a special object from home, a funny story, a deep thought, a unique observation.
Imagine your child on the edge of her seat as her teacher dives into an engaging and unhurried read-aloud, stopping to pose and answer questions or hear the ponderings of students. The group then begins a group-building activity that requires teamwork, creativity, and perseverance to accomplish. There is lots of laughter and pride after the task is completed.
Imagine your son excited to write, ideas flowing out of him and onto his paper. He has an important story to tell, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, and he is applying all of the techniques being taught to him throughout the school day.
Imagine your daughter breathing in fresh air after the Morning Time period, getting all of her wiggles out before the first work period.
Imagine as children come back inside they open their folder to remember what their goals are for the day. Your son is working on identifying geometric shapes and will meet with the math specialist this morning to practice using hands-on manipulatives. He worked on this last week with the specialist, too, but decided he hadn’t mastered it yet and wanted more help. He is the director of his learning, and he knows his teachers are there to support and guide him. Afterwards, he jumps into an inquiry-based science experiment with his peers. While some students are older than him, he happens to be an expert in physical science and is able to contribute meaningfully to the discussion taking place.
Imagine that after a 90-minute block, your daughter can grab her lunch, sit at the group table with her friends, and discuss whatever is on her mind. It is a safe space where student opinions and interests are cherished. When she’s done eating, whether it takes her 10 or 40 minutes, she can run outside to play with friends, practice some yoga, or sit and engage in a board game.
Imagine your child returning after an hour break feeling refreshed and ready to work. He begins his second work period, reading primary sources to compare Columbus’ discovery of the Americas with Great Britain’s “imperial century” in the 1800s-1900s. He plans to write and deliver a speech explaining why it is unfair for one country to take over another country. He is relieved that, while he has other things to accomplish, he knows he can use up this entire work period to investigate and write, saving the other items for his to-do list tomorrow.
Imagine yet another quick break, designed to give children’s brains time to process and rejuvenate before returning to the last part of the day. Your daughter wants to practice dance moves for a music video she and her classmates are creating about the water cycle.
Imagine that your son gets to stay outside and work in the garden, learning about the bugs that help the plants grow. He is fascinated by the aphids after reading about them in his favorite childhood book, The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carle. What will he discover today?
And finally, imagine your daughter working with her peers to clean up at the end of the day, reflecting on what was learned and planning for tomorrow. She will go home with a full heart and engaged mind. You will chat during the drive about the amazing poem she wrote and how her friends listened to her read it during lunch time. Together you will enjoy an evening with family without the pressure of homework. Your little girl learned so much today, and will learn organically in your home tonight. She will fall asleep tonight dreaming of being a groundbreaking scientist like Marie Curie or an advocate for peace like Jane Addams.
What do you imagine for your child’s education?