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.