Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why I Love Multi-Age Religious Education

This a Hokey-Pokey Elmo. I know, it looks like Little Warrior. But it is not. It is a Hokey-Pokey Elmo, in the "off" position. Her brother is turning the switch to "on" so that Hokey Pokey Elmo can begin doing the Hokey Pokey.

What this Elmo probably doesn't realize is that she's also healing. Not herself, but her brother.

The Boy is Type A with a capital AAAAAAIGH!!!! I don't know where he got it, as both The Husband and I were underachievers at that age. But he pushes himself to make straight A Pluses (Straight A's aren't enough), along with winning speech/debate trophies, band, and learning about any and everything there is that crosses his path.

He's 12. And he's already figured out that he's going to get an Accounting degree in college, then a law degree, then go into politics.

He just might.

Just as some parents work with their child who has learning difficulties, gently pulling them along, we work with trying to get him to ease up. Sometimes gently, "Don't study something you already know, move on," and sometimes more forcefully: "You've studied enough. Tomorrow, if you get up early, play a video game."

What a strange life I've wandered into.

We do have one secret weapon in helping him chill out. His baby sister. "Mom, I've already done most of my homework. Can I take a break and play with her?" Well, you betcha.

3 years old and 12 years old. They play together. And then, his stress level noticeably lower, he heads back into his studies.

It's not limited to siblings and this is why I love multi-age RE. I'll be writing about that towards the end of this RE year, in the spring, when I can give a full report. I'll just say now that I'm really, really impressed with tossing out age-divided classes and doing RE a different way. I think it's good for the young ones and the older ones.

It might even be healing.


Christine Robinson said...

and will you look at those eyebrows!!!

Masasa said...

I have tried some versions of multi-age RE, and logistical and other issues have always been too problematic to lead to success. I'll look forward to your report.

Lilylou said...

What a dear picture!