New memories of Kindergarten, inside looking out: Small students, big hearts

It’s Kindergarten Graduation Time. Again. It’s been six years since Young Daughter made this same step up to 1st grade. It’s the kind of June morning where the mugginess plasters your shirt to your back, between the shoulders. Parents wave paper programs, coaxing a hint of a breeze. The children are restless. The teachers are … More New memories of Kindergarten, inside looking out: Small students, big hearts

First day of 5th Grade: A year to learn about yourself and make (good) memories that last

First day of 5th Grade. A new school year. A new, grown-up “tween” world view. A new uniform shirt color. She told me at breakfast this morning she felt nervous, an unusual admission on her part. Reason? She didn’t know who (which friends) would be in her home base/fine arts and content classes. She will … More First day of 5th Grade: A year to learn about yourself and make (good) memories that last

Close encounters with 9-year-olds: Please keep me from looking ‘stupid’

I should’ve seen it coming. Never pretend to understand the 9-year-old mind, for your efforts shall be fruitless and fraught with frustration. What am I talking about now? (A question that’s often directed my way.) After the first few days on the new job teaching at Daughter’s school, she has been incredibly helpful, supportive, and … More Close encounters with 9-year-olds: Please keep me from looking ‘stupid’

Book ‘shares’ Lost in Space? NASA Barbie goes for a ride — Sally Ride, that is

They used to call them book reports, back in my day. Plain and simple, with your neatest handwriting. There was a word count, and you learned the tricks for padding your prose. Book reports were generally a chore, and squelched the joy of reading. Some short-sighted classmates would “borrow” information from the inside of the book … More Book ‘shares’ Lost in Space? NASA Barbie goes for a ride — Sally Ride, that is

The source of pain and new vocabulary: Getting older or just plain clumsy?

“I learned about compassion today,” the 6-year-old said rather matter-of-factly as we walked home from the bus stop. That stirred my curiosity. Not a word that generally comes up in 1st Grade. Perhaps they’re really moving ahead in language and usage, I thought. Just another reason I love our charter school. “How did you learn … More The source of pain and new vocabulary: Getting older or just plain clumsy?