In the midst of a blizzard when all my time and energy is focused on clean up and snow removal, I tend to overlook the positive things that are happening inside the house. I tend to focus on the fact that no book learning has taken place. Anxiety creeps in. But then I stop, and I reflect, and I realize that I am wrong. In fact, lots of learning has taken place, just not at our desks or at our usual times.
Saturday night Lilah asked if I would like to listen to her read some Fred to me. I would never ever say no to that offer!
- There was puzzle making.
- There was art journaling.
- There was reading.
- There was homework and a piano playing.
- I read a chapter of history aloud for fun with no expectations of review questions or mapwork!
Schools in our town are closed through Wednesday and other towns have decided to shut down the entire week. The online forums are ablaze with heated debate over the topic of additional time out of school (schools also lost a week due to Sandy in October). Reading the hundreds of comments makes me feel physically ill. Some parents feel that an additional loss of 5 days will make their children lose a competitive edge in the workforce years from now. Others feel this will negatively impact mastery test performance. Some feel vacation is just unnecessary and schools should be in session year round. There are a few lone voices of reason, stating the obvious, that this was an emergency, a natural disaster. If parents are so worried that their children are falling behind by missing 5 days of school.....they offered the sage wisdom that parents can work with their children on projects and reports and reading and writing at home. Shocking! But true. These anxiety ridden parents could homeschool their kids for a week and it might just be fun.
Thank goodness this debate does not affect me. I can let Grace free range for days. She comes in for food and water and it right back out building forts, digging tunnels and snowboarding with her neighborhood friends. This has been such a gift for her. Time to see friends she does not get much quality time with lately. They are out on the hill until dusk when their stomachs rumble and they return home wet, tired, and hungry. She is happy. Her work will be there waiting for non-blizzard days, when life is back to "normal" and we are back to our typical routine.
This week has been anything but typical!