Wednesday, September 8, 2010

School days, school days . . .

I loved school. If I could have, I would have become a professional student and spent the rest of my life walking around campus with a backpack and a college t-shirt. But I had to "grow up" and "get a job" and "get off the dole" - you know, things of this nature. So I graduated and went out into the real world and left school behind.

Until I had nieces and nephews. Now I get to live vicariously through them and I love it. They are all back in school now for the year and they call me every once in a while to tell me what they're learning and how their days went. I love it. And I love hearing the stories about things that they've learned.

For example . . .

My older sister, Tammy, homeschools her kids and she loves it. This year Emma is in 4th grade and Ben is in 1st and they are learning lots of cool stuff. Ben is really enjoying the mythology lessons they've had and he likes to tell everyone the stories that he's learning about the different mythological characters. After one conversation with him, I know more about mythology than I ever did in high school.

This year, Tammy has decided to start teaching Ben Spanish this year so he's learned a few new Spanish vocabulary words over the last two weeks. He likes to tell them to me when we're together because he knows that I like Spanish, too. But Tammy just recently discovered that Ben might not really be that enthused about learning that particular language:

Tammy: Guess how you say "blue" in Spanish.
Ben: How?
Tammy: "Azul." Can you say that?
Ben: Azul.
Tammy: Good job! And this is how you say -
Ben: Mommy?
Tammy: Yes?
Ben: I don't really want to learn Spanish?
Tammy: No? Why not?
Ben: Because I want to learn Italy-ish.

My younger sister, Erin's, kiddos are back in school, too. Savannah is in 2nd grade and Avery just started kindergarten so it's been a big school year for them so far. Avery absolutely loves kindergarten - she's so excited to go in the morning and she's enjoying all the new things that she's learning at school. And, lucky for us, she's willing to impart her new-found knowledge to the rest of us:

Erin: So what did you learn at school today?
Avery: Ummm . . . we learned about the Golden Rule.
Erin: Ooooooo! That's a good one! Tell me what the Golden Rule is.
Avery: Well, it's like . . . when . . . well . . . like if you hit me, then I can hit you back.
Erin: Weeeeeeellllllll . . . it's actually a LITTLE different than that.
Avery: No - that's what it is.
Erin: No - it's like if you don't like people to hit you, then you shouldn't hit other people. Because you should treat them the way you want THEM to treat YOU.
Avery: [taking that in . . .] No, Mommy. That's not right. It's like . . . if you kick me in the leg, I can kick you in the leg. THAT'S the Golden Rule . . . okay? [runs off]

Erin would have pressed the issue but she was concerned that Avery's version of the Golden Rule might also include "if you don't agree with me, I can kick your face."

So there's no telling what I'll learn vicariously through the kids this year - mythology, long division, maybe even Italy-ish or Germany-ish. But I know that I've for sure learned one thing so far: if I ever want to justify violence toward another person, I'm consulting Avery.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how kids interpret the Golden Rule. I had the same issue with my 4 y/o last year when she was in Pre-K. Like your nephew she also disagreed with my interpretation of the Golden Rule. We had an issue with bullies in her class. Yes I said bullies in Pre_K, imagine my shock. Well, over the summer she announced that she was learning to be mean because if the bullies were going to be mean to her then she was going to mean to them too.

ellen said...

I. LOVE. AVERY!!!!! This is my favorite Avery story so far!!!