Sunday, August 23, 2009

home visits

this year my partner-in-crime decided she wanted to do home visits instead of conferences. i LOVE this idea and am planning on accompanying her to all of our little ones' homes. two third grade teachers at our school have been doing home visits for years, and every year we've been jealous of how much they learn about their students from the experience.

last week we looked at the schedule we have ahead of us for the next few weeks and became a bit overwhelmed. we'll be putting in some late nights after long days of teaching. what were we thinking? we tried not to ask ourselves as we settled in with our decision. we've committed for this year- let's see how it goes.

our first visit was last thursday night in an apartment complex near our school. we nervously approached the door, not knowing what to really expect from the next 20 minutes.

the minute the door opened we could see the children's artwork covering the walls of the apartment. the morning messages she'd taken home from headstart hung on the living room walls- at perfect five-year-old eye level so she has easy re-reading access. her handmade picture frame from headstart hung on the wall behind the table. this is clearly a home where the children are an important part of the family.

as we talked the parents told us about the arts and craft area they'd set up in the pantry where their little kindergarten student could work on whatever projects she wanted to try. an art easel sat on the balcony where she could go to paint.

i got so much out of this short visit. nothing made me happier than seeing the home where this little one is clearly nurtured, loved, and encouraged to explore her five year old passions. i wish i could give all of my five and six year olds this nurturing home life.

(not to mention i am totally stealing the idea of turning my bottom pantry shelves into an arts and crafts studio when i have my own kids. what a great way to keep the children busy and near you while you cook!)

we left their apartment with new found energy despite the fact it was late thursday evening and it had been a long week. now i can't wait for next week's visits!

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