Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.


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Are You a Lifelong Learner? Would You Share a Few of Your Thoughts With Me?

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Why do you think you are so curious? Do you have at least ten minutes to take the time to type up three answers that will help me with my research on lifelong learners? I have three questions and a little background information for you to answer and then email back to me by this Saturday. Each time someone gives me their responses to these questions, I get even more excited! I’ve received responses from family and friends, and now I would appreciate hearing responses from people I do not know or do not know as well. Thank you for helping me out!

Here are the questions:

Name:

Date:

Lifelong Learner Questionnaire

1. Why do you love to learn?

2. How did your love for learning keep growing through and after your formal schooling?

3. How would you describe a “lifelong learner”? (Describe or list the main characteristics.)

Type of school attended for PreK-12th grade: Public_____Private_____Homeschool____

Highest Education Level Achieved and in what area:

Occupation:

Residence:

Waiver:
I give Mary H. Campbell permission to possibly use my answers in her writing about lifelong learners.

Signed:_____________________________________________Date:________________

Please return your answers to Mary at treesoftransitiondesigns@gmail.com by Saturday, February 28th, 2015.


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I Do Not Remember My First Day of School. Do You?

Homeschooling’s Black, White, and Gray Series 1 Episode 4

At age 29 I learned what I missed by not going to preschool. As a
preschool aide for a year in a Catholic school, I learned how certain kids howl, run away from teachers, and scream as they start the separation process from Mommy. The first few hours of preschool sounded like school was a very sad place. (Starting preschool looks like it can be a traumatic process for some children.) One little boy and I became quite close because he had not started learning to obey when an adult instructed him to do something, so he received many time outs where he had to be watched to stay in his chair to learn from his consequences. If my parents had taken me to preschool, I might have been in a chair next to him…maybe…We both really liked our own way.
My Mom chose to homeschool me, so I did not attend regular preschool.
My “preschool” consisted of cooking play dough and making things, learning my letters through songs, learning to make friends with kids at church, and living life with Mom, Dad, and my siblings.
I remember playing with my friends and siblings when I was three or
four, but I do not remember my first day of school. Probably, it was a
normal day of playing and learning a little more about math at home.

We do have a photo from our first day of school, which I don’t remember, but it looks like a fun day! Our school’s name was Campbell Christian Academy, and we might have started earlier, but the day of this school picture was September 9th, 1986. I was four, my younger sister was almost three, and my older brother was seven.
From looking at the photo, here’s what might have been happening:
Mom is talking to us–saying, “Hold up the sign!” I’m holding the sign AND something I created–it looks like a toilet tube wrapped in yarn (perhaps my own personal telephone?!) My sister is just content to be on my Mom’s lap, and my brother seems to be enjoying waving the flag!

What I do remember from the early days of our homeschool are memories of saying the pledge to the flag of the United States of America, and we had a time of learning together. Especially when we were little the puppet shows Mom did for us to help us memorize passages from the Bible were my favorite. Mom is great at making different voices, so she had puppets or characters in stories she read to us sound different. Mom let her creative juices flow through having lots of stories be part of our homeschool.

I still have a love for stories, and I’m enjoying sharing my stories with you. It’s okay that I don’t remember my first day of school because it wasn’t a jarring experience. School just flowed out of already learning things at home. I’m thankful for how my parents chose to give me a more gentle start to my education through teaching me at home.

By M. H. Campbell Copyright 2014


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Life Is All About Learning And Gaining Knowledge

Here’s an interesting guest post on the topic of homeschooling:

Hi, I am the Momma from “A Momma’s View” (https://amommasview.wordpress.com/ ) and I am a homeschooling mom. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is not. But what I learned from this experience is, that life in itself is all about learning and gaining Knowledge. The world is nothing more than an oversized classroom.

First I was hesitating when my husband mentioned that he wants to home-school our son. Of course I had all kind of questions (not to say worries). What about socialization, what about isolation, what about teaching them the right things? Will we be able to handle it? Will we teach him right?

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Children Testing the Limits: Thoughts on Watching Students Adjust to a New Teacher and the Importance of “No!”

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Watching the children handle change is fascinating. This week our school welcomed a new Spanish teacher! The old teacher had introduced the new teacher to the kids last week, but now the new Spanish teacher took over. Watching how a change in leadership influences kids intrigued me.

Here’s some of what happened: I tried to prepare the students to do well in the first class with the new teacher by reminding them how to act, but once we were in the classroom, I was the supporting teacher, and she’s the main teacher.

The period started out well with the students practicing what they had learned in the last class: saying “Buenas tarde!” when they entered the room. They sat down at their tables, then the new Senora played them some music and started teaching them different Spanish words that were in this song about a wooden doll. At first the students followed along, but then there was more talking and subtle goofing off (the new teacher may not have noticed it, but I did and was not happy!)

About half the class was engaged, while half of the class (the more active, less able to transition well half) was testing the new teacher. Some students were being extra silly, while others were apathetic. I tried to keep them engaged, but I couldn’t make them completely focus because I wasn’t leading the class.

This makes me think back to when I took over four English classes mid-year at a private school in Costa Rica a few years back. The first six weeks it seemed like it was going so smoothly, then problems started popping up. I had wanted to be sensitive and supportive as we all went through the change of teachers, but I’m seeing that I should have been lovingly tough from the start. Now I have learned that knowing how you want the students to act, clearly stating it, giving consequences if they choose to not follow directions, and then plow ahead into learning is a great way to function in a classroom. When a student even does something a little different than how you want it done, quickly correct them and then get back to work. The students want you to keep your word and create a safe place to learn.

In Costa Rica I didn’t clearly know how I wanted them to act, and then I didn’t confront things quickly, so they got away with disrespect and things they shouldn’t have done. I shouldn’t have let them. Once this got away from me, it got harder to manage the students, and then it was even harder to get the classes back on track. I was able to bring a couple of the classes around, and one finally came around on the last day when I finally said a clear “No!” to one junior high boy who had been getting away with murder. I made it through that season of teaching, but now I see how important it is to be able to say “No!” to kids.

Now back to yesterday’s Spanish class. After we got back to our class, I started talking with the kids about it, but I wasn’t sure how firm to be or what exactly to say, so my fellow teacher jumped in and helped me clearly tell the kids, “That is NOT how you act in Spanish class!” They got a consequence they didn’t like, and tomorrow they will have another chance to do well in Spanish. Children need guidance and support through a transition of leadership, and I’m interested to see how the kids will act tomorrow.

Kids want you to stand up to them. They want to know you will protect them and guide them through learning. Saying “No” to children is sometimes the best way to love them.


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“This Made My Month!”

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At the zoo camp I led this summer, a four-year-old drew a picture of what she liked best from that day when we talked about birds. We had met a zoo keeper with Echo, a great horned owl, and this four-year-old had sat way off to the side, but during the question time she asked questions. As I surveyed the kids drawings as they were finishing up, I asked the four-year-old about her picture of a person with a bird: “Is that you?” She answered, “No, it’s the lady with the bird!” (The zookeeper with Echo–and as I looked I could recognize that it was that zookeeper with red hair and the owl had big eyes just like Echo). Her simple drawing brought a smile to my lips. I snapped a photo of the drawing on my phone, and I tracked down the zookeeper after camp to show it to her. Her eyes lit up when she saw the portrait of herself with the bird she trains. She said, “This made my day, no, my month!!”

I didn’t know showing someone a photo could make her so happy. The picture made me smile when I saw it because of the whimsical lines that captured a section of reality. The picture showed the zookeeper and me that this four-year-old had learned something. We had passed along some knowledge. At the end of the camp when we asked the four-year-old what her favorite animal at the zoo was, she answered, “The owl!”