When you can create a fantasy school?
Two days before school starts, Lola and I sit down at the breakfast table to make a list of the kids that will be in her class this year. Because she attends a multi-age classroom, there are always some kids who return from year to year, and others who are brand new.
Somehow, this morphed into Lola creating a list of kids who would make the best classroom possible. She adds friends from our neighborhood, babysitters "if they were my age," and our dog, CB. There's a pretty good ratio of boys to girls and a total of 23 kids in all. From this, we move on to designing the curriculum.
Lola decides that Science studies will consist of learning about guts, goo, and critters, Math is when they will count bugs, divide Trader Joe's meringue cookies among the students and multiply brain strands. Reading will include some chapter books, but mostly Babymouse and Calvin and Hobbes comic books ('everyone needs to giggle, Mom'). Throughout the year, the kids will write their own spooky and funny plays, create their own foreign language, engage in "Real Art" by doing it as well as studying artists, and have PE every day. PE will include dodgeball, kickball, softball, and running obstacle courses. History will be studied mostly by cooking recipes from important historical periods, and Social Studies, well, duh, "we'll be social together," Lola informs me.
She thinks that school shouldn't start until 10:00 AM, despite the fact that she is up at 6:15 every morning, just to give the kids time to hang out in their pajamas with their parents before going off to school. It can go until 4:00 PM, but the kids get at least an hour for lunch and two half hour breaks for snacks or recess, plus one hour of dedicated recess. Four days a week they can have school at the school, but on Fridays they should go somewhere - a museum or a park or a water park or someone's back yard or "a science laboratory to watch them do actual science and then I can tell them that that is where I'll work when I grow up because I'm going to be the best scientist ever and sit in Albert Einstein's chair."
Oh, and Lola doesn't want to charge tuition. This school is free. Sign me up!