As a child, I learned best not in a crowded classroom, where lessons were constantly disrupted by someone asking questions about something I understood long ago, but through reading and self-study. I was a book worm. At the beginning of each school year, I devoured all my new books, and there was no power on earth that could pull me off. During summer vacations, I ran to the library to exchange books every day, and the librarians looked at me incredulously. They couldn't believe I read so fast.
I was a shy child, constantly teased, and cannot say that being locked up with many other children for extended periods of time every day did me much good. I'm the type of child for whom, I believe, homeschooling would have been the best option. At least until I was over the age when children are often so cruel to one another when collected in large groups. For me, life began when I was out of the school gates, alone or with one or two good friends. I wasn't enrolled in too many after school activities, and this gave me quiet, leisurely time which is so important for the development of an independent mind.
I'm not sure whether Shira's personality will be anything like mine, but in case it is, I want her to have all the freedom in the world to read good books, to dream, to create, to watch the miniature, slow deatails of life, build imaginary worlds, and just stare into space - an activity which is seen as a terrible waste of time, when the child could be hurrying off to a ballet class, piano lesson, or basketball practice. But children need their own pace.
Today, people start suffering from burntout earlier and earlier. Those who don't feel capable of running the race, especially children, may sink into feelings of inadequacy and depression. Some children are very vibrant, very active, and love the school environment, or otherwise require constant stimulation. I loved the quiet.
Every morning, I stare into a pair of curious little eyes, open wide. Children are natural observers and learners. Yet I have met children, as young as 8 or 9, whose natural curiousity was stifled by an over-active presentation of grades, exams, and dry schoolbook facts. At an age when I explored my surroundings, climbed trees and rocks, and wrote my first fiction stories, they are content to idly sit and watch television or play computer games all day long.
I look forward to the opportunity, together with my little girl, to watch the world through child's eyes, and discover the many wonders I am perhaps oblivious to. To learn and grow together. I know it will be so much fun.