I wanted to write about school and kids, and the programs and protocols in place and the ways they work for some kids and not for others. I wanted to talk about the way not everyone fits into a one-size-fits-all approach to education. I can see when I look at myself and my group of peers the ways we all reacted differently to the schooling we received. I've read varying arguments and ideas in textbooks and online; I studied learning theory in college. Most importantly, I've spent the last 3 years working with schools to help my children, and I've really seen how all three of my kids learn differently and need different things.
I wanted to talk about ALL OF THAT.
But it's too much. Or maybe I'm just too tired. But I think it's really too much.
There are too many stories- too many different examples. I could talk out loud about it for days to an empty room, but THE POINT. The point is basically this: No one gets to tell my kids, or any kid, where they are "supposed to be" or how they are "supposed to learn," not even me.
You can pick a direction you want them to head in, and do your best to guide them there, but they will make it in their own time. You can give them the tools and the space and the encouragement, but you can't make them learn faster, and you can't make their brains work the way your brain works- believe me I've wanted to. I can tell you that my kids DO NOT learn the same way I do. Even from a young age, every kid is an individual, and as parents and educators the best use of our time and energy is to accept that, appreciate it, and move forward from there.
Every step of the way, every wall we've come up against, my neurotic brain has at least once TOTALLY panicked and thought "Oh my god they're never going to fill in the blank!" (Read, add, whatever.) And, well... I've been wrong every time. They've jumped every hurdle they've faced. I've finally learned to trust them, (and myself), and be a little more patient.
We're not done. I still have to help them, I still get frustrated, and sometimes I still have to stick up for them. But we're moving forward- and just that knowledge that, even if it doesn't feel like it sometimes, we ARE making progress can be the reassuring light we need on a long dark night.