Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My best teaching day

Forgiveness is freedom for the wounded.

So today the only poem I'm going to share was written by Elliot this past September.

Water Park   

Jumped off a pirate ship
Cold liquid
Sharks swim around me
Scary water slide.
100 miles an hour
Having fun too!

Hot sun
A raft
For 3 of us
Like riding on a zooming

When we removed Elliot from public school he was a struggling first grader.  Writing was his most difficult subject.  That he wrote this poem several months ago is a big deal.  I remember it as my best teaching day.  We had been reading from a book of poems called Cold Stars and Fireflies by Barbara Jester Ebenson. Elliot and I sat outside on our sun deck in the back and read each poem aloud, sometimes more than once.  When it was his turn to write, these poems were fresh in his mind, as was the idea that a poem is about taking the memory of something very special and making a picture with words.   He liked that writing a poem was less labor intensive than writing long sentences.  I put the poem in a collection of his work and only recently rediscovered it.  Holding those sheets of lined paper and remembering where we began, I felt uplifted and encouraged that what we're doing is valuable.   

As the months roll on through our little home school, I'm gaining momentum.  A feeling that this is a natural way of life is starting to set in.  Just this week I received the news that we'll have two more students attending our Friday writer's workshop.  Will teaching begin to feel like riding on a zooming alligator? Probably not.  But I'm thankful that it's now starting to feel more like a river rafting ride than a journey on a sinking Titanic.

Today we'll be reunited with Elliot's three cousins who are also home schooled and who travel the country as a family.  They surprised us last night, arriving with armloads of pizza and filling our house with rigorous play.  Because Richard's family is mostly in Missouri and mine is mostly in Michigan and Ohio, family visits are a huge event.   The adults had an equally great time, sharing stories of faith, work and parenting.  I went to bed feeling restored. Had angels brought them to us, in my time of miserable whining?  To show me what an extraordinary time of life this is?  If so I'm truly thankful.

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