Once a few years back I stupidly served up a whispered, “Sleep Tight” to then-age five Ben as I tucked him in. Little Mr. Rapid Fire Questions and Curiosity couldn’t sleep until I Googled the precise reason that this saying lived through all the generations up to my utterance of it in the 21st century. (I will let you look that one up yourself if you don’t know. Pretty cool!)
I go on and on much of the time about the power of great teachers. As first teachers, parents are obviously invaluable in this process—and that early teaching is obviously sustained and filled with power as students move along through ZCS. Without this critical alliance of tutelage and mentoring, our student outcomes could not soar like they do for most students who apply themselves and have the advantage of engaged parents and fine ZCS teachers.
A couple of weeks ago my wife sent me the link to a program that she has begun with our third grader at home, and she is right that all parents of young children need to know about this. It is called bedtime math and can be found at this URL: http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/03/bedtime-math/ .
I am going to leave it there and see if I get any emails from folks who have given it a try. Mary reports this as a great last conversation before or after our nightly reading.
And if anyone with older kids is still reading this, note that we were still doing darn near nightly read alouds when the girls were sophomores in high school. I remember laughing my fool head off with Abby when I read her A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel (an Indiana author). Mary navigated the tougher territory with readings about stark realities that needed adult female guidance. But no matter what we were reading, the discussions that ensued set up great communications. Even when we became, for a few years, the most profoundly stupid people on the planet, we knew we had done all we could to help these fine humans become young women of awareness and thoughtfulness.
Wherever you are on this road, make a new link or restart an old one. There is precious little time (though it seems like decades drag on and on if/when an adolescent experiences the temporary lobotomy of knowing everything and listening to no one of the parent variety). I’d give just about anything to get to have the girls at tender ages again for that “Sleep Tight” sort of inquiry and sharing. It does go so very fast, and then they are grown. We are savoring the journey once again in our Ben.
Be smarter than I was by researching the answer before you tuck in your young child sometime soon and say something like, “Are you going to hang loose or sleep tight?” See if you get them going. See if you can make use of Bedtime Math or Bedtime Science. Definitely make use of daily opportunities to influence the most important people in the world to you—who are also the most important people to the world—in the making—by us all!
Scott Robison, Superintendent
Zionsville Community Schools