Am I allowed to brag for a Thankful Thursday post? It seems a little wrong, but I'm going to do it anyway! Earlier this week my daughters had their end-of-year conferences at school. My oldest has made great strides in her social skills, and is broadening her topic selections for creative writing. For most of the year all we have seen are stories about princesses, and now she has written a spy story and one about a cat!
My youngest is on fire! Not only did the teacher tell us she is kind and helpful to others, but she is reading 88% of the 5th grade sight words- and she's in kindergarten!
So I am definitely thankful that my kids are doing well in school. I am also very thankful for the school itself, Central Academy. It was a jewel of a find within a struggling public school system. What makes Central unique is its democratic philosophy, based on John Dewey. His approach centers on community and real-life learning. Each child takes a great deal of responsibility for their own learning. They almost always get to choose their own topics for writing and research projects. Each student has his or her own learning goals- this is what makes it possible for my oldest to grow at her own pace, and my youngest to be challenged when she is ahead of the rest of the class. Instead of getting traditional grades, each student produces a portfolio of work and parents participate in four conferences per year, at which we receive an in-depth written narrative of our kids' progress and needs. Another great thing about Central is its multi-age classrooms. This means that k-1 are grouped, 2-3 are grouped, etc. As a “younger” in the classroom, a child gets to learn new skills and new routines. The “olders” get to take more responsibility and serve as role models for the youngers. We get the added benefit of having the same teacher two years in a row, which has been beneficial for my older girl who needs a bit more continuity and a teacher who “gets” her unique personality.
So, to sum it up, I am very thankful for great kids in a great school with great teachers. Go Central!