The First Best Day Ever
Yesterday was our first day of the new school year and we had many new students experiencing their first taste of Alpine Valley School. At the end of the day after hours spent playing tag, building sand castles, reading, competing in foursquare, eating lunch, and chatting around the Main Room table, I asked them how it went.
"I thought school was going to be boring and weird, but this was awesome!" One student reported. He wore his Minecraft onesie pajamas to school and when his parents arrived to pick him up he told them firmly, "Go away, I"m having fun." Not exactly the reception every parent wants, but indicative, at least, of an exciting day.
"How was your first day?" A parent asked, to which her daughter responded, "Today was the first best day ever."
When people hear about our school, and the freedom that students experience daily, they often believe that children will "waste" their time with activities that do not benefit them mentally or physically. The misapprehension in this statement is that any activity, no matter how much it may be devalued by society (or ourselves), is a waste.
Play is how children learn.
Rest is how children grow.
Freedom is how people find themselves.
It's not always easy to see, and as a parent it's sometimes very difficult to trust, but the experience students have at Alpine Valley School is beneficial to them in a variety of ways. Together, we all had the first best day ever yesterday, and I look forward to having many, many more.