Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Biography

Hedgie's last day of school is tomorrow, and every day of the past couple of weeks she has been bringing home a stream of evidence that she was, in fact, working on things all year long. Rarely did any tangible proof of this make its way home before now, with the exception of bi-monthly poetry books written by the kids. I think this dearth of product reflected school policy--they don't encourage parental involvement with the classroom. The idea is that the teachers are free to exercise their autonomy without constant interference.

This may sound shocking, and even though I went to this school myself and was prepared for it, it took awhile to get used to the fact that, although I was welcome to peek into the classroom and occasionally admire some artwork or poetry, I was largely and deliberately out of the loop. There's no parent-teacher organization, no parent curriculum input or meetings. After I got used to it, it was most relaxing to drop Hedgie off every day and not really give it another thought. It required a leap of faith and once I leapt I could let go to some extent. What a revelation, especially for a micro-managing parent.

One of the things that came home today was a little book written by Hedgehog, complete with a jacket blurb author bio:

24 comments:

Suzanne said...

Hi honey. I had to take a leap of faith this week when Sweet Pea went AWOL and his biggest fan, Sage, went absolutely insane without him. It's been a tough week. Sweet Pea appeared this morning and all is right with the world. Unfortunately he's injured and just got back from the vets. He's on lots of meds. He's a mess. Does life ever get easy? Nope! It's hard. That's a fact.

Suzanne said...

Just want you to know Heggie is a gem. You got yourself a keeper!

Peter said...

Leah,

Your daughter is a GEM! I hope we get to see some more of her biography!!
It must've been very hard to let go and give up control to the school, but I have to admit, it's very strange not to have any parent/teacher conferences....seems a very hands-off school, but if it works, it works!!

Take care!
Peter x

Peter said...

dammit! I didn't realise Suze had used the word 'gem' :-(

In that case, I change my 'gem' to the word 'diamond'

:-)

kylie said...

i'm rushing right now and i'm gonna rudely ignore your post to say

"hello suzanne"

kylie said...

i'm rushing right now and i'm gonna rudely ignore your post to say

"hello suzanne"

Suzanne said...

You know Kylie is killing me! Damn I'm laughing too hard. You know why she's doing this, don't you? Because I commented on IV's blog and she followed. She didn't even say HI! We hadn't talked in days, so I said "Kylie didn't even say hello." So now, everywhere I go, she's already been and has left that message! It's too funny Leah. Do we have an amazing circle of friends, or what!? And no honey, I don't think she's blowing you off, she's just giving me the finger!

No, I'm not supposed to be blogging. You are correct my dear. But I am. I have a few peaceful minutes this morning and I'm enjoying myself. That's what the doctor wants ~ joy in my life. So see, I'm cooperating.

It's time to feed the birds and squirrels so I've gotta boogie, but wanted to say "Good Morning," before I ventured into the back yard. I hope you have a beautiful day. And I can't believe Peter didn't read my comment before commenting (yes, I know I'm not supposed to use the same word twice in a sentence ~ hit me over the head with Elements of Style). I always read his. Jeeeezzzzzzzz. In any event, Heggie is both a gem and a diamond. You are one lucky mommy!

Love you and thanks for your support. Have a beautiful day.
Suze XO

Leah said...

Hi Peter--I like "gem"--there can't be too many comments describing Hedgie as a gem, of course, from a parent's perspective...hehe...I'll take "diamond" too!

The school is very quirky and progressive. In fact, Sarge and I did go in to meet with the teachers individually, once in December just to hear how things were going. Aside from that, we were really outside of things. Some parents absolutely can't handle that, and I guess they end up taking their kids elsewhere. But from a teacher's perspective, and I've taught different age groups throughout my varied career, not having parents breathing down one's neck is probably a good thing...

One of the very best things about the school, in my eyes, is the fact that it doesn't assign letter or number grades at all, even through high school, and instead gives anecdotal reports twice a year. The teachers write an incredibly detailed several pages about each student.

Wacky, though, I know...

Leah said...

Hi Kylie ; )

Leah said...

Soooooooz!!!!!!! I'm glad you're enjoying yourself. It seems to me that whatever you allow yourself in the next few weeks or months, as long as you're enjoying it and not feeling pressured, is totally great for you. I think the old cliche of "slowing down" is a real thing--and if you can do it, things will be better--slow down, deep breath, enjoy things...like a mantra...

xoxo

BEAST said...

The biography and blurb look extremely cool . We made some terrible things at school , most of which the parents still have. You luckily have more family talent :-)

kylie said...

suze, you only think we hadnt talked in days...there was a hello on my last post for you...about art y pico. it makes more sense now, thanks
love
k

Cecile said...

Hey, this is absolutely wonderful! Keep encourageing her to write. She could be very sucessful at it some day. And I agree with Suze and PJ. She truly is a GEM!

Leah said...

Hi Beast, we made dreck as well, and my folks largely did not save the stuff. How's that for a lack of sentiment! Although the odd handprint or haiku occasionally surfaces...

Leah said...

Kylie, what am I, chopped liver? Just kidding...xo

Leah said...

Hi Cecile!!!! I think Hedgie will continue to write--creative writing and poetry and playwriting are a huge component of the curriculum at her school--it's a very creative place...sometimes to a fault (gotta get the math and science in there too, right?)...

Can you believe our kids will be second-graders soon?!

xo

Cecile said...

Well, we have decided to hold our boys back, so they will be re-entering the first grade again. Forrest really struggled this year, and Nathan's teacher thinks that it would really do him so good to stay behind too. For maturity reasons. They are not going to be 7 until July 31, so it really won't hurt them much. They also, with twins, they do not like to promote one and retain the other. I have requested that they be placed in the same classroom this next year though, for simplicity reasons. The principle has agreed. I had to really debate my case, but I finally won out. Well, I have to go check on my boys, I'm hoping they are not drowning each other in the pool.

Leah said...

Hi Cecile--that makes sense--Hedgie turned seven in December, so it's quite an age difference, especially at this age. I think it's cool that they're in the same class!

kylie said...

of course you're not chopped liver...
i'm a little short of blogging time right now ....
so it's bare esssentials....
hope youre doin well
have a wonderful weekend
back sometime, hopefully soon
te queiro

Skeeter said...

Hedgehog is growing up. Her author's bio was priceless.

My son's schools were just the opposite. They encouraged parental involvement in the classroom. The way we have built the school system here, I think it helped the kdis. Hopefully it doesn't sound too cynical, but I think that with the way our school system is funded, another one of the aims may have been to make sure there were enough voters to approve school bond elections when they came up.

kylie said...

i guess our school (and all public schools here) encourage parental involvement.
the interest shown by parents depends a lot on socio-economic factors and our school is regarded as "disadvantaged"...lots of recent immigrants and families on welfare etc so the school struggles for parental support.
anyway, i love the fact that while they hope for some support there is no obligation....it is very liberating to just drop the kids off. i dont really have time or energy for micro managing.

oh dear, i had more to say but gotta go...maybe later
k

Cecile said...

Like Skeeter, our school encourages parental involvement too. I try to stay involved with the kids. I think it is important. I can remember growing up, my mother didn't really have a lot of time to do things at the school and a lot of the time, when we played basket ball games on the road and at home I didn't have any family support in the stands. So I have sort of made it my duty, so to speak to be involved with the boys. They aren't playing sports yet, but I do try to go up once a month and do an art project with the kids. They love it! It will be much easier to do this next year because they will be in the same class. ANd I will be very familiar with the teacher, since Na had her this past year, and she is going to tudor "little naked boy" over the summer. But, I suppose schools work differently all over, so if your school works for you all, then I think that is wonderful. The most important thing is that our children get a quality education so that they can become rich and take care of us when we get old. I mean, that's why I had kids, didn't you? HA

(Not-So) Cynical Gal said...

Leah, Hedgie is an emerald, a sapphire, a diamond and an amethyst. She is brilliant and lovely. And I just know her from your posts! Imagine!

Barb said...

This is great info to know.