The idea of guiding a large group of children can send some adults into a cold-sweat panic. What they may have envisioned as an idyllic reading of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” or a thoughtful conversation about the life cycle of the butterfly begins to look more like a full-scale mutiny as serene children on the rug bounce around like popcorn kernels and contribute thoughts to the group discussion that range from what they did on Wednesday (“or maybe that one other day that wasn’t yesterday but wasn’t a long, long time ago…..”), to the dead frog discovered in their driveway, and on to an impromptu performance of a funny commercial they saw this morning.
I remember the day I headed out on my own. No classmates. No chaperones. No host family. I got on a bus and went into the city center.
Looking back on it now with my anxious mother-eyes, I think it might have been a little crazy. I’m quite certain my parents wouldn’t have been thrilled. But it gave me a new perspective, even though it had all been right in front of me for weeks.
I’m not the biggest Lord of the Rings fan. I’ll be honest right there. It’s dark and stressful, and that’s just not my idea of a great time.
But since the trilogy’s release dates coincided with my birthday weekend for three years, I had the pleasure of consistently going to one of my husband’s favorite movies for my birthday. (It’s OK, he happily sits through Pride and Prejudice and the like with me.)
As I wrapped up the Read Along of Rae Pica’s book, What If Everybody Understood Child Development?: Straight Talk About Bettering Education and Children’s Lives (affiliate link), I intended to do a typical Q&A follow up with Rae.