September 02, 2011 — TLC for Your Family – Back to School Ideas

TLC for Your Family – Back to School Ideas
September 02, 2011


Here's your September 2011 TLC for Your Family Ezine – Enjoy!


As you probably know, it’s back to school time.

If your children are in school, as opposed to homeschooling, what can you do to help make the experience as nourishing and joyful as possible for them?

You might consider the following two ideas:

First relates to where they go to school. On that topic, I invite you to remain open to exploring alternatives, if it becomes clear that where they’re going isn’t working out.

The best time for me in public grade school were my two years spent in "the alternative program."

These are the only years of my formal education that are not now a blur. I not only remember the two years I spent in that program, but I do so with warmth in my heart and a smile on my face.

And after last weekend’s joyful reunion of the program, I’m even more clear about why that is.

I believe I enjoyed the program so much primarily because my teacher consulted me about how and when I would learn things.

She would sit with each of us individually once a week.

We would not just talk about what she wanted us to cover that week, but what we wanted to cover. And together we would draft a “to do list” agreement that included it all.

Then, as my week progressed, I would get to choose order and timing for myself. I would go from station to station in our classroom, at my own pace, checking off my list as I went.

I relished having so much choice and so much dialogue, compared with what I had during my years in the regular program.

It met my needs to be seen and heard in a way that enabled me to be more fully present for my educational experience. And it left me yearning to offer the same, and more, to my own children.

Hence my decision to unschool (interest-led homeschooling). Unschooling has allowed me to offer virtually unlimited choice to my children.

I invite you to consider how much choice might enhance your child’s educational experience. Even if you don't go so far as to unschool, you might find schools that offer more choice to children.

To get an idea of how much choice and interest-led learning can increase learning and retention, you might read “Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes,” by Alfie Kohn.

The second idea I have for enhancing your child’s school experience involves how you react, on a day-to-day basis, to demands school may make of your child and your family.

To explore this topic, I suggest reading, “Guerilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education, With or Without School,” by Grace Llewellyn and Amy Silver.

I think you’ll feel intrigued reading it, as the book walks you through ideas about how you might put your child’s schooling in perspective. You’ll read about ways you can think of your child’s schooling as just one part of her education, and empower yourself and your child in the process.

I hope these two ideas have helped, as so many of our children begin another school year.

In any event, whatever you decide, and wherever your family life takes you next, I wish you and yours “Happy Family-ing!”

Tiffany Clark
Family-Focused Speaker, Author and Advocate
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!

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