I wanted to recommend to you a book that I have been reading, mostly out of my own interest as a parent: Kim John Payne’s “The Soul of Discipline” offers helpful insights into how our role shifts as we move from parenting young children, to tweens, to teens. He uses the metaphors of parent as governor, then gardener, then guide; and I’ve found his advice for thinking about how to support teenagers particularly interesting as I stand on the brink of negotiating some of that territory with my older son in the near future. (Payne is the author of “Simplicity Parenting,” which some of you may have read in the Mountain Sage parent book club a year or two ago.)
I also wanted to share this link with you that I found on our Cyber Civics web site. It's an eye-opening article for parents and teachers entitled “Teens, Cyberbullying, Sexual Harassment and Social Media: The New Normal?”
Photos and Conversations
I had great fun beginning to put together photo collages with photocopies of the photos the students brought in of themselves as newborns, older babies (5 to 9 months or so) and toddlers. Please also send in photos of yourselves as teenagers if you happen to have them on hand. They are equally fun to admire! I’m still working on these collages so please send in photos on Monday if your 7th grader forgot to bring them Friday. Thank you also for engaging in the interviews about adolescence and stereotyping – it is truly enriching our exploration to have these conversations with you. This week we will spend more time looking at respectful communication, and then we’ll launch our study of puberty and the male and female reproductive systems. For homework, the 7th graders will be interviewing you about their birth and adoption stories. They will use their notes to write a narrative about the time just before and after their birth and about your experiences as expectant and new parents. They will come home tomorrow with some questions to launch their conversations with you, but feel free to follow these leads into whatever territory feels rich and comfortable for your family.
Nynaeve’s Class Report
On Monday, we continued cyber civics and worked on a lesson about digital footprints. If you wanted to hire someone and you didn’t know much about them, you would do an online background check. On Tuesday we worked on our self-portraits in art class, we also made wet felting projects for a gardening fundraiser. On Wednesday we had handwork class and were assigned our managing jobs for our play. On Thursday we did our skits and our rites of passage reports, and we also had music. On Friday we had games class and played volleyball, also in main lesson we discussed stereotypes and wrote a reflection on stereotypes. Also we had skits on stereotypes of teenagers; for example there was emo, popular, and others.