Calculated Breaks (Childhood first, Happiness, Health, School)

Parent and teacher conference today. Lovely people. We have great rapport and share good laughs. Anyway, I was asking about my girl‘s seemingly lukewarm interest in math and one teacher flipped open a binder and showed me how she handled various math problems. One had to do with telling time. I said, “Oh, that’s good that you’re focusing on that a little because I have purposely not taught her anything about time (though of course she has picked up plenty through the years). She has the rest of her life for that. I just let her live in the moment as much as I can.” Well, for some reason they all thought that was very funny. They got it. They also answered another question of mine; that if I wanted to take her out for a day here and there it was up to me. Interestingly enough, this evening, out-of-the-blue, my girl asked for a break tomorrow from school – the 8am grind five days a week, the sitting, the rules, etc.. I can usually sense when it’s needed but wait for her to ask. I’m usually within a day or two. So, she is off tomorrow. And, I have to say, I feel really good. It makes me feel like school is serving childhood and not the other way around. If I take her in 30-40mins late 1-2 times a week and take her out once every 2-3 weeks, she seems to get the sleep she needs and the sense of freedom that helps keep her happy and healthy. She is rarely sick or unhappy. While others who have been conditioned to think that blind adherence to a schedule is ‘important’ for a child, I consider my calculated schedule shifts as vital for her well being. And that comes first. Guess the overall point is, I’m happy with her school and pleased with how I’m managing her participation in it.

Getting Dirty at School (Childhood first, Outdoor play)

Must be doing something right as a parent. I was called in to pick up my girl from school as she and two friends had jumped and rolled in mud on the playground. I told one administrator, “Phew, I was concerned when I got the call that something bad had happened.” According to one of her teachers, my girl was “the star” mud diver and she led the charge. Proud of her. In the car, driving home, I said, “Did you feel badly (in the office) when they were upset?” She said no. “Why?” Her answer – “Because it was fun.” Well, she did say she wanted to have fun at school! Now, obviously, I did explain to her why it was hard for the school to contend with muddy children. She promised not to do it too much. Guess I better send extra clothes. What would childhood be without mud, and what is a school if not first and foremost for childhood? They handled it pretty well. Her teacher confided in me set she had taken a picture.