December Update

Dear Great Horned Owls Families -

Well, we’ve been back to distant learning on Zoom for a couple of weeks now and the children have adjusted much better this time around. What really has made a world of a difference is the opportunity we had in meeting each other in person or reuniting with old friends. The children were really happy to meet the new classmates and everyone was trill to have access to the classroom materials for deeper understanding of the lessons. As a teacher, it was crucial to have seen how your child works, address their academic needs, and most importantly provide in-person presentations. All those subtle clues given non-verbally are so important in pinpointing what I need to provide your child in their cosmic education.

Many children have become experts with Zoom and are sharing screens when participating in different learning activities. The new students have been virtually practicing Clockwork and decoding numbers from the Large Bead Frame. Even though this has been mainly done by the first years, some of the second years have also been revisiting these two skills. My wife has a saying in Spanish she uses with our daughters to remind them what is required in order to master a skill: todo es cuestión de práctica or practice makes perfect. I remind the children that just receiving the lesson is only the beginning. The real work begins when they revisit the lesson through deliberate practice or coming back to ask questions or even a re-lesson. Osmosis may work with our body’s cells, but not with knowledge or skills they need to master.

The children wholeheartedly took up doing a lot of research these past weeks. As I might have mentioned already in a weekly Tidbit, they ran the gamut from dinosaurs to how a pencil sharpener works. Of course, the most common topic was on a particular animal a child is interested in researching: sea otter, vultures, Australian cattle dog, red pandas, cats, great white sharks, owls, grizzly bears, Great Danes, horses, and German Shepards. We also had an interest in bark scorpions and geckos. We had a 3rd year do additional research on a very old civilization: Sumer or Sumerians. Pluto, our on and off again planet, was also covered. Some one presented on Flagstaff and finally we had one more child discuss fossils. When a child is given the opportunity to choose and explore their interests they learn much more deeply.

Due to the timing and returning to online learning, we want to wish Santi and Liev another Happy Birthday. Their birthdays fell right in the middle of Thanksgiving and on the last day of the November. Our only December birthday was Victoria. She had her parents record a very lovely video of her dancing in traditional Chinese clothing and shared with with the class on her birthday. She also sang and played a Christmas song on her piano for her classmates.

Over the next two weeks, we wish all students and their families plenty of family time. Zoom or breakout rooms should be the last thing on their minds. We will miss them greatly, especially the out of left field comments or their unique personalities.

Happy Holidays and a much better New Year!!!

Ms. Bahareh and Mr. Jess