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Sunday, November 14, 2010

If All Schools Felt Like This...

I was in one of local coffee shops in Dedham Square in my hometown of Dedham, Massachusetts during the middle of the week and I saw Ian, son of Cheryl (who has worked at our family-owned book & toy shop The Blue Bunny since the day we opened the doors seven years ago). It was a school day and THIS was his "school." So cool. S'cool.

Ian is home-schooled. He studies at home too, but he follows his mum into our charming downtown who works at the bookshop where he also studies. He also helps out at the cash register doing real-world math and refining his people skills while keeping up with all the latest book titles which he can then, in turn, recommend to other kids.

There are other spots in the Square that welcome Ian and his books and computer. He has become a fixture in our downtown, quietly working, drawing, animating - while the community cheers him on. We're all part of his "learning family."

As I stood waiting for my cappucino, I marveled at the cozy scene.

The fireplace.

The color.

No florescent lights - just beautiful, natural sunlight.

Music was playing.

Ian had his cranberry scone and his hot cocoa keeping him company.

What a wonderful - comfortable - inspiring way to learn.

Imagine if all schools were as cozy as this?

In my travels, I have found a few schools with some cozy touches. A rug, a sofa, holiday lights - mostly in the younger grades. I'd love to see more - across the age spectrum. Color. Music. Flowers. Gentler lighting. Pillows. Overstuffed armchairs. How about a cozy fireplace?

If you asked Ian - I am sure he'd agree.

All schools should feel this good.


C.Annie Doucette said...

YES!! You All are part of our learning family.. Thank you for everyting you do!

Karen McGrath said...

This is what homeschool is all about, flexibility and learning more than just what's in the text. Cool School.

Anonymous said...

This is a lovely scenario lovingly described, bravo!

Adri's Creations said...

That is so, so true!
Schools need to be cozy... Why so many desks and lines? Why so many bells and a day split in pieces as if we could turn a switch on and off and move from Math thinking to Language thinking? Who said we should learn like this? Ah, the world! I love the world and the people in it and I treasure how we can inspire each other! One last thing: I hate (sorry for the word!) fluorescent light... and LED... We gotta find a clever way to bring light... green and energy efficient... but not fluorescent!

Dawn Haley Morton said...

FANTASTIC! : ) if570

Kleuterspel said...

Thank you so much for your inspiring way of describing your experience!

Nancy B. said...

I was so happy to read your post. It really captures all the reasons we homeschool and why we enjoy it so much!

Renmeleon said...

I have a ten year old daughter and I have been homeschooling her since she was three. I love that she learns in the real-world and that she can be immersed in her education. Everything around us can teach us and, I agree, if more schools were comfortable and encouraging I think students would do better. You can have structure and still have a sense of belonging to something. Dream big Ian!