Thursday, February 5, 2009

sprouting wings

today was monumental for me as a homeschooling mother.
one of my students sprouted his wings as a writer.
you may have a student like this, he is the reluctant one,
the one who reads later than the rest.
he takes longer to learn
his multiplication tables and he pretty much despises any
kind of structured learning.
he is the middle child.
not the oldest, not the baby and not the only girl.
it has always been hard for him to find his place.
not just with regards to school, but in life.
he is the stubborn one.
the one who makes my blood pressure
rise every time we have some sort of confrontation about
not putting forth his best effort or paying attention.
he is the one that made me doubt whether or not i should
even be homeschooling at all.
he is the reason i searched feverishly for different ideas about teaching.
it is because of him that i found out that not all children are auditory learners,
which you'd think i'd know, because i am not one either.
yet he is the one with the neatest handwriting.
he is the first one to put his boots on and lead me outdoors.
he is the one with an artistic eye and a gentle heart,
he can quite often be seen following the shadow of another
small boy, his little brother.
he has his ears tuned to the birds that frequent our yard
and constantly comes inside with descriptive narratives
of things he has seen as he peruses the property,
pellet gun in hand and camera in his pocket.
the assignment was simple enough:
write me a paragraph about our day at nannie and papa's yesterday.
make it in chronological order, starting with breakfast,
which were yummy "mamacakes".
pay attention to punctuation and spelling and i will help you
with paragraph structure later.
he is in the sixth grade, this should be no problem you say.
well, not for my boy.
this is usually a most painful process,
ending with discouragement on his end
and disappointment on mine.
disappointment in myself because maybe i have
not been the best teacher.
maybe he needed special ed.
maybe i wasn't patient enough.
but in the end it was because
he just wasn't ready,
he hadn't sprouted those wings.
but today he did
and it happened so much like all of the rest of his
"learning", very out of the blue, quite naturally
almost as if he'd always written this way.
beautifully constructed sentences, colorful adjectives,
very well written feelings and emotions about what
he did, what he saw, tasted, touched and felt.
and all i can say is
i am one PROUD mama bird!