The Independent Center for Integrative Education: Learning without Limits
...About the workshops with you and your father. We really enjoyed them.
My kids had nothing but good things to say about them,
and we definitely would be interested in doing something similar again.
Thank you so much for all the work you put in.
Nadia and Valery,
I'm sure you already know how wonderful Xavier and I found your workshop. It has definitely been the highlight of Xavier's learning experiences! The workshop's design is a perfect match to what Xavier expects and wants on a daily basis. Even though I wasn't in the room with you during the workshop, Xavier's delight in telling me what you all did was like being there. He especially enjoyed the feeling of playing; he enjoys role playing and story making and that's what he remembers this workshop to be.
As I told you on the last day, if you create something in the future, we will definitely register.
I was amazed at how relaxed you both seemed throughout the entire week while you were in the middle of it. Obviously, you and your Dad work very well together. It was very pleasant to see how you did it with so much enthusiasm and joy! I guess since you are planning another one, it must have gone very well. My boys enjoyed your Dad very much. Everyone I spoke to, parents and kids alike, felt a real connection with him. He has a very calming way of being, and seems so young at heart. What a special thing that is, as it was our very first time meeting him! We obviously had already connected with you as we trusted you with our kids!
On speaking with the boys about their impression of the class, the thing that they shared was that while the topic (space travel) was not quite in their specific realm of interest, they learned a lot, especially when your Dad spoke, or "lectured". I thought that was funny, but I guess it was a novel situation for them to have someone with such a deep understanding and experience teach in this manner. Lecture is not a tool we use very much in our educational model, and they loved it. Isn't it funny. I thought the hands-on would appeal to them much more.
When I asked them for other feedback, they said they found the class sizes a little too large, and the physical activity and noise level in the class rather distracting. I'm not sure it was the age difference, rather just that different participants had different styles of interacting. I know my two boys are very different, with one being more of the "clown" who can distract and deflect attention to himself. I think there were a few of this personality in the class. It's just a fact of his personality which makes our home education model (very small groups of students in the same "phase" of learning, whatever the age may be) work better than large, multi-phase groups. I don't know how that whole dynamic worked from your perspective as a mentor, but Josh especially came home exhausted each day from the intensity. He found it difficult to share openly and participate fully with so much going on around him. He likes to digest very carefully before he speaks. He's very artistic, and he also absolutely loved the assignment to design and develop the Mars travel campaign. What a brilliant idea that was. Good job!
All in all, I am impressed with your ability to take on such a huge project! Josh and Levi both said they learned a lot. Thank you for putting so much into it. I'm sure you learned as much as the kids did! LOL