Recently I’ve been listening to a few history podcasts that have been talking about how different educational philosophies were dreamed up, and what the ideal school day looks like. This reminded me of a history lesson from last year talking about the father of modern education. After reading the lesson in Mystery of History 3* last year I posed the kids a question:
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What is the ideal school day like?
According to John Amos Comenius, the father of modern education, the modern school day has a few important things in it:
- It should be for everyone, girl or boy, rich or poor (this doesn’t pertain to the day, so much as who is there)
- realistic and use concrete objects or nature when possible to teach abstract things
- train the body as well as the mind through outdoor play
- teach practical things that help with the ordinary business of life
- include the study of science
- improve the student’s character and produce order and happiness
First before we got started on their writing assignment, I asked them what our day looks like. They listed about what you would expect, history lessons, science lessons, writing or reading lessons, and maybe a bit of math. Okay more than a bit, but that wasn’t the big thing they remembered.
Then I challenged them to think a little bit and come up with
What does your ideal school day look like?
For their assignment I was grading based off of two components:
- The school schedule, would some lessons be every day or every other day, or maybe even once a week? How much time would each lesson take?
- What is your school room going to look like? John Comenius was big on the tactile and manipulatives. If you are going to use items like that, you need to also have some storage for it. What is that going to look like?
They got to writing and drawing and came up with some interesting classrooms. You can see what each child thinks is the most important by their schedules.
For instance Superman’s schedule has quite a lot of recess and P.E. in it. Like two hours worth every day. He didn’t have any history, and being my morning bird, he started at 5 AM. I am not teaching at that school.
He also was really excited by this project and it took up two sides of the paper. You’ll notice the design of his classroom itself is mostly sitting in the desk as the teacher talks to you, but there is a great deal of detail on that playground.
Batman on the other hand either has an impressive shelving system in his classroom or maybe those are some nice windows. I’m leaning towards shelves though. You’ll notice he went for a simple schedule, and he really likes science and history, because each of those classes gets two hours. Lunch and recess happens over an hour’s period of time.
Princess’ school adds in a few more classes than her brothers. She read the improvement of character and made sure to include Bible time, and for the practical work she included crafts. Her science is much more nature study than classroom work, because it is part of our daily morning walk. She also made quite sure to include the dog……
I loved the insights this ideal school day assignment gave to my kids
It really showed what they valued. They actually set up a fairly long school day, which was amusing to me. It really did amuse me to see how very different their planned school days and classrooms were.