Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Student's Life

Slice of Life Challenge, Day 4

As I sit here typing, my son is reclining on the couch, his V-Tech "laptop" balanced on his belly, stablized by his criss-crossed legs. He's working on math problems. "I'm doing my homework," he's declared.  Just like mom.

I've flipped roles this semester.  My sabbatical began a little over a month ago, opening up the opportunity for me to return to school full-time.  And so my Tuesday and Thursday mornings and early afternoons are spent with my nose buried in books on rhetoric and teaching writing and literary theory and research.  And when my boys return from preschool, those books are generally strewn across the dining room table, intermixed with their Lego mini-figures in awkward poses, while I'm typing up my reading notes or a literary analysis essay.  This is my homework.  And I love it!  I've been writing and reading more than I have traditionally had time to do at this point in the year.  I'm enjoying being a student.  And it comes at the same time that my son is figuring out just what that means - being a student.

On Thursday this week, I'll stand in line to register him for kindergarten next fall.  He knows this.  He has been speaking of himself in future. "I'm going to be a student. I'm going to have homework." He's excited about this. He wants to learn.  He's been practicing homework, grabbing a sheet of printer paper and a colored pencil to practice writing out his letters while I type up my essays for class. It has me wondering about the years in between kindergarten and grad school, when so many students disengage from learning. What are the experiences that suck the the joy out of learning?  When does homework become less about learning and more about work?
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