Back to School - Livin' the Good Life
Nov. 23rd, 2008
03:00 am - Back to School
Come January, four out of five of our sons will be going back to school (as well as our lovely daughter-in-law, Maya). Our family has held a distinctly "anti-school" bias since the early days when I became disillusioned with the public school system. We even tried private schools for a while, but I found myself ultimately disappointed with them as well. Homeschooling was a good alternative for some of our boys, but even that was not perfect. Finding exactly the right thing for each boy was a challenge. I just took one day at a time, following each one of their leads. I felt that, deep down inside, each child knew what was right for himself, and I would try to help him discover what that was. It was definitely rocky at times. Some of them were distracted and delayed in their acedemic life by the influence of their peers and the teen culture of the day. And though I think most of them were satisfied at the time with their "school years", in retrospect they all feel like they want and need to "fill in some holes" acedemically. (The funny thing is, I went "lock, stock and barrel" though 13 years of school getting excellent grades and still feel like I have acedemic "holes".) Nathen has been the ring-leader in getting this "Lester mass-entrance" into college rolling. He re-entered college last year and has been enjoying it so much that he has convinced his brothers to do the same. Damian started a couple of months ago, and he has been having the time of his life delving deeply into all the subjects he resisted as a child. As an adult he is highly disciplined and ambitious, and he likes the challenge that school assignments offer him. As a child, he resisted any "assignment" that he didn't give himself. He learned lots of things, but rarely were those things other people's ideas. Now he seems to relish any challenge he is given. Ben and Ely will start school part-time in January. I can imagine both of them loving school and excelling. Thinking back, I believed it was my job to help my sons feel like successful learners. It almost didn't matter what they were learning. If they confidently went after their interests, I was happy. I firmly believed that they could easily learn whatever they wanted to learn, whenever they wanted to learn it. All they needed was the intention to do so. At this time, "higher learning" and the "ivy halls" seems to be what they want. I'll be watching with great interest.