Kids Teaching Kids

kids on beach

When I was a public school teacher, sometimes I got a bit of flack over the idea that kids could teach kids. After all, reasoned certain parents, wasn't the *teacher* supposed to be teaching?

As a home educator, I get to be my own principal. And in my room, kids teach kids. Without me even asking.

Like this afternoon. My girls had a friend over, and they were secreted away in the study. At some point, my eldest popped down to the kitchen to hand me a villanelle (a challenging kind of form poem that she taught herself to write in the first place).

She thrust the paper towards me. "I taught Michaela how to write a villanelle," she said. "I told her to give me certain kinds of lines and I wrote it down for her. Here!"

I read the poem and smiled. Wow. Nobody assigned this. I wasn't even in the room when it happened. Maybe that's even part of WHY it happened. Anyway, Michaela's first villanelle...

"She Alone"

Rippling across the cool green grass,
tulip alighted on a leaf;
she gazed out the window on the mountain's stony pass

in an inkling of a wink she basked
filled with deep grief,
rippling across the cool green grass

but she among all of them was last
beyond the shifting fields of wheat,
she gazed out the window on the mountain's stony pass

but she alone could fulfill the task
to find the king of the mountain's golden seat
rippling across the cool green grass

in there among the songs of the past
but the winds of the north she could not beat,
rippling across the cool green grass
she gazed out the window on the mountain's stony pass.

by Michaela, 12. used with permission.

Katie and Sara on the beach photo, by L.L. Barkat.

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Blogger Kathleen said...

Aahh. We homeschooled also. This reminded me of all those creative moments. Her poem blessed me. Tell her.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Ann Kroeker/Not So Fast said...

Can I come over? I'd like to take villanelle lessons, please!

It could be for your next post, "Kids Teaching Grownups."

I'd also like to sign up for a few art lessons, as well...

7:23 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

They have learned art on their own for the most part too. I just get the books from the library and take them to a lot of museums and give them a lot of free time. :)

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Maureen said...


Patti Digh, who writes the 37days blog, has a post about her daughter doing a Venn diagram without knowing she was creating one.

Kids really are amazing. They show us more than we can ever teach them. Especially when we leave them to learn on their own.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

See, how you teach? It's your inquisitive spirit...it's contagious!

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Children of Eve said...

Wow, I am thoroughly impressed. Beautiful.

5:22 PM  

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