Lately I find myself wondering what would happen if Kieran went to school instead of being homeschooled. I have no desire to put him in a school, to be clear. I simply wonder about how he’d do with his personality. He has many ideas, plans, etc, and he talks about them constantly. It’s how he assimilates what he has read and learnt, but unless reminded to stop or let another person talk, he won’t. He can focus for his violin lessons (with some reminders at times), and he can make it through Mass without needing to talk about his ideas, but to go all day? I’ve a feeling he’d get in trouble a lot for talking, and, being the sensitive kid he is, it would eventually crush him or he’d suppress a key part of his personality, I fear.
While he is talking about his ideas, he walks around. He truly cannot keep still when he’s talking about them, because he just gets so excited that he has to move. It’s almost as if his ability to think through his ideas is tied to his ability to move. Since moving around randomly is frowned upon in classrooms, I think he wouldn’t do well with that, either.
This reminds me of a student I had back when I taught 3rd grade. A clever student who also couldn’t stay seated at his desk. I allowed him to stand and move a little (he had to stay close to his desk at least), and he did much better that way. If he wasn’t allowed to move around some, he was very difficult to manage, and other teachers knew that. When I recommended him for an accelerated class, the teachers scoffed, telling me he couldn’t possibly make it in there because of his behaviour. I countered that he absolutely could, if given a chance and allowed to move some. I don’t know if he was accepted into that class or not, since I did not return to teaching the following year, but obviously I still think of him.
I’m also reminded of stories of other children who have been labeled as bad in school, but it turns out that the child was simply a normal child who needed to be able to move, to speak, to be a child. When allowed to do that, the child flourished and learnt a lot, much more easily. I’m glad we have chosen to home educate, as I love that Kieran is free to explore his creativity more easily than he would able to do in a traditional school setting.