We’re in our second week of school here. Going well – they like the teacher, they’ve made friends, but the first week enthusiasm has dwindled already. Last week they were up before me, dressed before breakfast, and early to the bus stop. This week the kiddos are dragging. They still like the teacher. They still have the friends, but the seeds of resentment are forming.
They sense the intrusion. In the summer, even with some planned activities and the occasional week at soccer camp, my kids have a lot of time to CHOOSE, to choose what they want to do, to choose how long they want to do it, and, until the end of the day, to choose when to stop. Their essential selves, the part that is most clearly them, that is the most clear expression of their unique wonderfulness, have 10 weeks to really get down. There are still obligations and chores, but they are sprinkled throughout the day rather than this giant chunk that the school day imposes. Don’t get me wrong; there are lots of things that go on during the school day that I think my kids would choose to do if given the choice, but they are clear on the fact that if they wish to do well in school, the activity in question is not a choice and as such, they are in some ways, leaving their essential selves behind. They are obeying their social selves every time they learn a new rule at school. They are obeying their social selves every time they sit still when they are feeling oh so itchy and restless. They are obeying their social selves when they refrain from getting water during math and when they wait until recess to run. And they resent it. Continue reading → Getting Your Whole Self On Board