And it is cold. We are huddled around the heaters as we carry on our work, and play. Monica is now the teacher of the ten- to sixteen-year-olds, and doing a marvellous job!
Pint-sized as she is, she has these teens marching to orders….
I am managing the GED students and the Foundation Phase. The GEDs are on the verge of booking their first exams, so all are very excited, yet very nervous and apprehensive.
Brandon arrived here being able to name only two colours with reasonable confidence. He names ten now; all the basic shapes plus extras such as the rhombus and kite! This morning I showed him a pentagon – he called it a penguin. Awww!
The term, I mean. All of a sudden the first term has flown by.
Indigo Learning Centre now has 11 students, all fantastic young people; all of them mindful and respectful of their fellow students. We are like one, big family. The ages range from seven years old to 18 years, but everyone communicates with one another equally. We have also been getting up to our usual fun stuff, besides the fun we are having doing “work”. So much learning has been done (psst! Don’t tell the kids!)
That being said, all is not always moonshine and roses. There has been a meltdown or two, and one family experienced a terrible tragedy and trauma. Some of the families are having difficulties of another kind. Obviously, I cannot share details, as I would like to respect their privacy.
My husband and I have also been facing some challenges – not with each other – but practical issues that have affected our holiday plans. I am flying to Cape Town this coming weekend to lay my dad to rest, instead of us both driving down together and sharing some leisure time.
But each morning my heart is filled with gratitude to the Lord for this immense privilege to influence children’s minds and hearts. As one of my more reluctant students said to me today, “I am actually sorry that the school is breaking up for the holidays.”
It is a pleasure to see the crestfallen faces when I tell the kids that their parents have arrived to pick them up. Something good is happening when a child loves attending school!
Indigo Learning Centre now has 10 enrolments! This is not a numbers game, though. I want the kids to be a group of people that understand interaction with respect and mindfulness. They are that, and more. Our new student, who started yesterday, has a bucketlist of disorders, anxiety being one of them. What the conversation was about, I have no idea (they were building clay figures for an animated movie we want to do). At one stage, Sean (11)said to Jordan (15), “Don’t worry, we are your family.” Awwww!
We now have art classes twice a week, presented by a true-blue artist, Monica Cserei. Go Google her; she is phenomenal!
We also started nature journalling, which means we get to go outside and observe the natural beauty of our environment.
It still remains a wonder to me that the students learn so much, so naturally. I am amazed, gratified and hugely grateful to God. Every single day.
This year has just flown by! It has been such a learning curve for me; sometimes I have panicked about whether my students are learning enough. Fortunately, I have managed to shut myself up and to go with the flow.
I made sure that the kids at least did some maths and English before going on to the freestyle form of learning. Often they learned more in the second part of the day than in the first, without even realising that they were learning anything!
One thing became obvious (people have told me this, I have read this, but I never believed it) is that kids’ natural curiosity comes to the fore when you stop trying to force information down their throats. To give an example – we have been doing ‘work’ around the Titanic, such as building a 3D puzzle, watching the movie, etc. Sean piped up, while spinning the globe around, “How far was the Titanic supposed to sail?” This gave me an opportunity to show him where Southampton, Great Britain was, and to mention that the ship had had to sail to New York. He had to find New York. We googled the distance – over 3,000 miles. Which led to the conversion of miles to kilometers….
I am sad about the kids who had to leave due to various personal reasons. Their parents assure me that they enjoyed every single day of school.
My six-year-old, who has already advanced a year, is really upset with her mom when she cannot attend for some reason or another. Daniella has told me that she will be coming to my school until she is twenty! I gently expressed my wish that she should maybe try and finish sooner. 😀
I still have room for some students for next year. At present, I am only making space for a total of ten kids, so – sign up quickly!
I have added the GED Online matric equivalent to my curriculum, with the approval of the service provider, Shirley Erwee.
This means that you can acquire your school leaving qualification in record time, depending on your prior qualifications and your willingness to work. Your previous grade is irrelevant, but obviously the higher the grade you have passed, the better your chances of finishing earlier.
It is recognised by SAQA, and accepted by the major universities and many well-known colleges, depending on the course you wish to follow. If you want to study medicine, for example, you will need additional qualifications.
There are only four subjects: English, Social Studies, Science and Physics.
I will attach a document with a link to the website, as well as an enrolment form, within the next two weeks.
You can start the course at any time and write when you are ready, at a centre near you.
Email me for more information: email@example.com
The year is about half-way, and I yet have to find myself getting bored. I get up with joy and a prayer of gratitude every morning – this is not “work”; it is pure, unadulterated pleasure! Besides doing some “school work”, we have gone on several excursions. We have visited the library and taken out books, have baked muffins, did gardening, visited Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, played Monopoly …
On 1 June we will be attending an Aerobuddies session, where the kids will do flight simulation. Then we are going on a nature walk and have a picnic. At the same time, we will be socialising with other cottage schools.