As a parent with kids in the Lower School and the Middle School, I often hear about events that go on in the upper divisions, though I'm not truly familiar with all the ins and outs. I do know that the Upper School has something called "Conversations That Count." I've never been to one of these programs, which, as far as I know, allow students and parents to examine challenging issues. However, the name of this event truly resonates with me. I feel that when discussing what my kids are learning in the lower divisions, we, too, have conversations that count.
My kindergartener and I were running errands and listening to the radio, and a children's author, Mo Willems, was being interviewed. To my dismay, my kindergartener started screaming—full on screaming. Not in a fearful way, but in an "I'm at a Rolling Stones concert" way. Once my son calmed down, the rest of the car ride was a re-telling of all things Mo Willems that he had absorbed at school. Then, the radio segment started highlighting a book that my son had just checked out of the school library and had with him in the car. "I cannot wait to tell my teacher," my son said. "He is not going to believe what just happened!"
My second grader is currently studying the colonial time period, and a few weeks ago, he and his classmates went to Claude Moore Colonial Farm. That night at dinner, we learned all about a "board game" that used stones but was otherwise very similar to Checkers. My son spoke about the game with such passion that as a parent, you just got pulled into his words and the emotion behind them.
Almost every day, my boys are bringing home what they have learned and are sharing it with us. The student becomes the teacher. And for me, those are most definitely conversations that count.