Monthly Archives: February 2012

Yoga For Literacy

Mom, will you read me a story...

Yoga practice enhances flexibility and is a healthy choice, but when coupled with literature, yoga becomes much more.  A few years ago, I attended a yoga retreat in San Francisco to learn how to teach yoga to kids.  My premise for signing up for the workshop was simply as a refresher course with my own yoga practice and for something to do with my son.  What I got was a deeper understanding of yoga and the role it plays with a child’s learning process.  At that point, I combined yoga with literature.  I wanted a different venue for reading with my son.  What developed was a program that builds literacy especially awareness and skills for kids who tend to be kinesthetic learners; i.e., the need to move to learn.  Our practice strengthened our mother-son bond and provided a powerful message for us both–a message to further.

When I got home from my kids’ yoga retreat years ago, I was fired up to use this new method of literacy learning with my kid.  Originally I stuck to the book of stories provided by the yoga teachers at the retreat, as they were well guided and simple poses with stories.  I started to branch out to Chinese and American proverbs, no particular reason except that I was interested in the two and they had a good flow with yoga.  This developed into a deeper appreciation for story telling through yoga when my son initiated question sessions as we practiced.  Our conversations were simple and usually regarded the story itself, but more importantly emphasized why we practice yoga and do the Chinese practice yoga like us?  We talked a little about the differences/similarities between our culture and the Chinese culture, including food, all the while we continued to move through our series of poses; he was three years old at the time.

Usually my day with my son is indicative of trying to wear him out with long hikes and trampoline sessions.  I was so moved by our interaction during yoga while engrossed in literature, I decided to canonize our time together.  Our experience made me appreciate our time and of course I had to share this idea with parents.

The teacher in me realized the potential for children to engage with literature while practicing yoga and my target group was three-four year olds at the time, as it followed suit with my own child’s age.  I offered yoga literature classes for children and found the boys tend to need it most.  While both girls and boys equally enjoyed our 45 minute story telling sessions through yoga, the boys made huge strides with listening more attentively.  Over the course of a six week session, where consistency with the structure of the class was key, the boys made larger strides lengthening their attention span.  This is not to suggest the girls lacked in attention span growth, rather, they didn’t seem to need the outlet for movement to listen to the story as much as the boys tendency.  All the kids understood the story lines, the message, and the poses as they related to the story.  It’s proven successful to the testimony of a child’s craving for movement while learning.

The past five years I have been compiling lists of stories and restructured yoga poses accordingly.  I delve into our practice with the intent of telling a story that carries a message.  Our discussions following our interactive story telling are spent gleaning the messages from it and applying them to our daily lives.  Using folklore and proverbs, our sessions are interactive with a global perspective as we grow to appreciate people of all cultures through the mediums of story telling and yoga.

I am offering two Yoga For Literature courses this Spring 2012, May 8-June 12.  If you are local, nearby, or visiting Lake Tahoe, your children are invited to join us.  For more information, please contact me at sabrina@jargonsmith.com.

Happy Homeschooling,
Sabrina Albrecht
Mom, Educator at Home


Learning Styles

Writing is my passion...but it's not his.

Learning Styles

I recently attended a Learning Styles chat with my Co-op parents. It’s refreshing to hear information I’m familiar from a different perspective.  It reminds me of how different my kid is from me.  When it comes to homeschooling, conflicts can be counteractive as challenges present themselves during learning/teaching time.  I experience it with my son when we write.  Writing is my passion, but it’s not his.  Key points:  We have different likes and dislikes and from a learning perspective, I am a visual learner, therefore teach accordingly.  My son is a kinesthetic learner, which makes us polar opposites in some ways.  As a veteran teacher I am in tune with the differences of learning styles, I just need a little refresher course once in awhile.

I struggle horribly with my own child when it comes to writing.  I flat out confirmed to him, “I’m not good at teaching you how to write.”  So, last Fall I enlisted a teacher who shares my passion for writing and children.  Otto, my son, had a lot of fun and wrote creatively.  I noticed she took more time to dictate his words.  I know that trick…I’m a teacher!  When it comes to our own kids, there are some things we continue to forget.  Period.  The reminder helped us this Winter, but I fear Otto has “clued” into the idea that I will write his thoughts…forever.  For—evv—vvvvver.  Despite my infinite intelligence with teaching writing, I have to break this cycle.  I enrolled him in a writing class through my Co-op, which starts this week.  I think I’m more excited for myself, because I have a thing or two to learn about teaching writing to my own kid.  And that is okay.  Take heed homeschooling parents, your kid is at stake…as well as your sanity.

In a nut shell, there are three basic Learning Styles grounded in the human psyche and based on how we observe, listen, experiment, and focus.  Our perception is related to the distinctions between concrete and abstract and everything in between.  From this, we will either order information sequentially or at random.  Of course, this is a broad guide and not to be distinguished here as the “black and white” of how we think.  We are human beings after all, and there is no reason to pigeon hole our minds.  This is only a guide, which can be a very helpful one.  That said, the categories for learning generally recognize visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.

Visual learners tend to be quiet.  Although I stake claim to being a visual learner, I am not quiet.  Moving on…detail is important, we write copious notes and like to organize them as we make better sense of the words.  It has to be our words.  I find myself rewriting teacher handouts.  I know, it sounds painstaking, but it feels good for me.  We can easily assemble most projects with printed or pictured instructions, except when assembling furniture from IKEA; those directions are written by aliens.  We love to doodle, so it may look like we are taking “copious notes” during lectures.  We love books, pictures, and show and tell.  If your kid is a visual learner, you may want to incorporate flashcards, matching games/puzzles, dictionaries, index cards for notes, diagrams, charts, maps, timelines, pictures, pictures, pictures, and graphs.  They will love you for this and that will make you happy in return.

Auditory learners love to talk!  If this is your child, give him your iPhone and show him how to use the voice recorder, which equates to hours of fun but mostly sucks your battery dry.  These learners love patterns, beats, rhythm, poetry, music, music, music.  They tend to read out loud for the sake of sound and discover the rhythmic patterns of language whatever the representative symbol.  Although they fight the urge to disregard oral directions from you, they are perfectly receptive to them.  However, they are easily distracted by background noises.  Do not clue your kids into the fact this distraction exists.  They will use your words against you as they verbally equip their brains for debate.  Do give them verbal praise, however, as they are listening.  If your child is an auditory learner, read with her, let her follow your words even if she is a beat or two behind you (or slow down and let her brain register the words first), try memorizing lines in a play or a poem, use recorders, listen to music for rhymes (visit modern day Shakespeare renditions), TAKE PIANO LESSONS.  Language is rhythmic.   Practice metacognitive talks, where you chat one-on-one or in a group making thoughts less abstract and moving toward the concrete for placing thoughts into written prose.

Kinesthetic learners are tactile learners.  They want to touch, feel, and move.  If these kids are in motion, they are listening.  Yes, the perpetual motion they crave is not a “condition.”  Rather, it is the means to feeding their brain power.  Everything they learn is through motor skills, be it fine or gross….mostly gross.  I personally suggest a trampoline as your mainstay classroom.  This is my son.  He can only recite a poem if he’s jumping on the trampoline or on his skate board.  These kids tend to show anger and not shout it.  They are mostly distracted when things are calm and quiet.  They like the simplicity of projects, usually involving some kind of tool–a hammer being a favorite in our home.  These are the kids who disassemble your favorite gadgets and unorganize your personal space; i.e., the Tupperware cabinet becomes the building station in your kitchen and screw drivers are the tell tale sign that something has been dismantled.  Kinesthetic learners struggle with listening, a huge detriment in an institutionalized setting and usually they end up on Ridilin.  If your kid is a kinesthetic learner, he wants to build to learn!  If he can touch and feel it, he’s understanding it.  Any opportunity you conceive to have your kid move while learning–do it.  The Total Physical Response approach, despite it’s relationship to second language learners in research, is paramount as it incorporates the physical needs of kinesthetic learners.  Google it!  A slinky or clay during reading can help with focus, use concrete, hands on projects for abstract content area learning…And invest in a trampoline.

For resources and ideas specifically for making the abstract more concrete, please contact me and/or share your insight.  I would love to post a collection of thoughts on my website as I feel it’s an area of constant growth for the sake of our kinesthetic learners.

I would like to thank my Co-op Learning Styles Leader for providing the ‘in a nut-shell’ review of learner styles, as I was easily able to rewrite her notes for you here; F.A.I.T.H Parent Class, February 19, 2012, Hill Top Community Church.

Happy Homeschooling,
Sabrina Albrecht
Mom, Educator at Home


Parents Are Invaluable Teachers

Parents Are Invaluable Teachers

 

Learning with your child...

I work closely with parents questioning the education their child is receiving in the wake of standardized learning.  These numbers of parents are growing exponentially, along with their concerns.  Parents currently involved with public and private mainstream education, are now considering learning environments beyond the strong current of core standards, that are more friendly on the pocket book, and encourage inquiry rather than indoctrination.  This trend suggests an educational shift toward more organic and home grown approaches.  The new school of thought is a resurgence from history, which parents today are re-evaluating for their own families.  Compounded by the changing economy, these reflections on education display two directions, the one school classroom with at home options and on-line learning to alleviate high stakes test stress and unwarranted homework for their children.  These directions also recognize the importance for college entrance requirements and foster strong family values.

By the time parents come to me with questions and concerns about education, I know they are well on their way to building a research base for making strong decisions for a new direction.  I highlight the first lesson toward an organic, home grown approach to Include your children in your conversations, as it gives them ownership for the challenges ahead.  Ownership is the pinnacle for organic and home grown education, valuing the child first through your quest of inquiry together.  The renewed look of education sweeping our nation is a homeschool approach with a cooperative twist.

Homeschooling and cooperative settings present their own set of challenges and there is a wealth of information, resources and options available with the convenience of the internet; it can be easier to connect yet increasingly more difficult to decipher.  From prepackaged curriculum, to eclectic collections of resources, to hiring teachers and tutors, finding enrichment courses and projects in your community, discovering the array of cooperative options available, a plethora of on-line choices, and/or becoming the teacher as a parent, time constraints, scheduling or de-scheduling, teaching tools…the information can become unwieldy.  You may scream, Where do I start? 

If your direction is to create and maintain salient learning opportunities to grow with your child, prepare for the paramount commitment and patience of your journey together.  Families with children in the mainstream and discovering your choices, tend to experience a cycle of emotion.  Be cognizant.  Seek support.  Know your resources.

I suggest the cycle for transition out of institutionalized education and into cooperatives and homeschooling options a cycle of emotion, actions and reactions, usually driven from your own personal fears and lack of self confidence for being the teacher.  The second lesson toward an organic, home grown approach is to Remind yourself you are worthy of the position as a parent.  I base this cycle for transition on my own experience and my current work with families. Like many of you reading this now, I discovered localized education values the child more, while federal interference subjects children to template learning and squashes teacher expertise. I began my transition eight years ago after more than a decade of public school service, as a teacher and administrator, and coupled with the new dynamic presented with the birth of my son.  My husband and I chose the homeschool path.  Together we experienced the fear, our reactions to it, and eventually validated our purpose for the success in our journey.  I take the liberty here to coin the cycle of transition as stages according to their nature, both as I experienced them myself and in accordance with the dynamic of the committed families I have worked with for the past eight years.  The Cycle of Transition is three stages 1)  A Reality Check  2)  Seeking Guidance; What Have I Committed To? and 3)  Homeschooling or De-schooling; An Ongoing Process.

Reality Check

The number one misleading precursor parents fall victim when considering homeschool or cooperative options is focusing on the what rather then the why–they begin with curriculum research.  Thorough research for the best curriculum plays a vital role representing the what and certainly individualizing instruction is one of the major reasons parents have chosen their new path, however, the result often ends with creating the same structured environment in a different context.  The Reality Check comes with the recognition of having done this and questioning the purpose for which a change is needed.  Defining your purpose for an educational shift is truly the beginning point and it includes the family as a whole.  Dig a little deeper.

…Below are excerpts from The Homeschool Cooperative Model

Quick Tip #1:  Begin with brainstorming ideas for what education represents for your family.  When you hear the word education what do you picture?  Curriculum?  Programs?  Teacher resources?  Do you see a desk, an easel, writing journals, perfectly sharpened pencils in a cute apple shaped holder, and a computer set up in a special space at home?  Do you picture your child sitting attentively with a tutor as she writes prolifically in her new founded daily journal, with enthusiasm and a huge smile?  Or are your images of outdoor hikes, a science journal and colored pencils tucked in your kid’s backpack, sitting with your kid at the local library amongst the stacks of books for the sheer sake of conversing about your surroundings, discovering purpose?  Listening to your son recite a poem while he jumps on the trampoline?  Really, the descriptions will vary from family to family and they will define your direction as homeschool/cooperative parents.  It’s an essential first step to avoiding the trap of recreating a template approach for education.  Since you may already be in tune with the fact that you dislike the current lack of creativity in your child’s education, this step helps you further discover your purpose as a family for moving in a different direction to educate… 

…The Time Factor:  The time it requires for you as a parent to homeschool can be daunting.  Immediately, parents will seek those who are like thinkers and want to make the move cooperatively.  I caution parents to be cognizant of their purpose as a family for educating in their new environment as it plays a hefty role at this point.  Homeschool and cooperative environments are highly personal and carry with them specific educational codes of conduct accordingly.  It is inevitable that compromises are made when a larger cooperative setting is implemented and I suggest you fully understand the degree of flexibility you are willing to forsake for your own child, before moving forward.  As groups of children and families grow together in an educational setting, the more defined and structured that setting will become.  The potential result is developing into a mainstream setting, the very core of what you are avoiding in the first place… 

 

…A Quick Tip #2:  Ask yourself, “What role do I play in this new educational process?” 

As the parent, are you a teacher–the teacher, a guide, a coach, or just plain mom or dad.  Are you the organizer and planner who sets up learning contexts for your children with tutors and/or other teachers?  Do you seek community resources as learning options for your children?  Do you picture daily cooking lessons to discover math and to simply bond with your child?  Do you participate in community service side-by-side your kid? Do you want to drop your child and leave? Are you are all of these?  Jumping in without establishing your purpose as a family, may make you feel lost and disappointed in your efforts with your own child.  Understanding your limitations for education, i.e., developmentally appropriate curriculum and the stages of child development emotionally, physically, and cognitively are all important factors.  These, and many more, should never be sacrificed in a homeschool and cooperative setting, because these represent the core for learning in an organic and home grown context.  And as the parent, you know best what that constitutes for your child.  

These excerpts represent the starting point for unravelling The Reality Check.  The process will recur many times over and just when you think you have it all figure out, you get another reality check.  It is indicative of learning as a process by which parent and child experience together.  This is a little boost to jump start your way into seeking the value in guidance.

Coming Soon are excerpts from Seeking Guidance; What Have I Committed To? and   Homeschooling or De-schooling; An Ongoing Process.

 

Sabrina Albrecht

Mom, Educator at Home


Meet Fudge

Meet Fudge and Otto

Artistic, Poetic inspiration

Meet Fudge

Otto, my son, came home from his sculpture class with a giant thing constructed from an array of card board boxes, tubes, and bright duct tape.  This Thing, I ask with enthusiasm, what is IT?  I lift my eyebrows in wonderment.  Otto’s smile reaches across his face and he’s beaming, It’s Fudge.  Hmmmmm, I think to myself.  I raise my eyebrows again and Otto realizes I’m not picking up what he is laying down–I’m just not gettin‘ it.  So he continues, He’s a cross between a duck, a wiener dog, a flamingo, a horse, and a human.  Perfect.  Now it’s clear.

Fudge is the inspiration of an eclectic background including Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, and my son’s sculpture class.  We’ve been reading a lot of Dr. Seuss lately, The Lorax, Horton Hears a Who, Yertle the Turtle along with a few of the newer stories.  And then there’s Shel Silverstein, one of Otto’s favorite poets and keeps his books within reach.  Take all the creative juices Dr. Seuss and Silverstein use to conjure the wacky, friendly beasts in their stories and couple these with the mind of a child and a card board box master piece and this is what we got…

I Am Fudge

I am a duck with soft, colorful feathers

of orange, brown, red and white.  

I am a wiener dog with little short legs

and low to the ground.

I am a flamingo with a long straight neck

that helps me reach things I peck.

I am a  human with a unibrow and mustache,

like Jaimie on ‘Myth Busters’.

I am a bug with antennas.

My name is Fudge. 

But wait, there’s a little more.  Otto’s favorite past time is the iPad.  In an effort to control the ‘zero engagement screen time’ in my kid’s life, I let him purchase educational games.  His favorite is Stack the States.  I’m thinking all the facts he’s been spewing about our states had some influence on his thoughts.  This is his next creation…

I’m a Ducka-giraffa-doga-saurus of the Caves of Mt. Rushmore Grun,

I spit fudge as thick as waterfalls forming giant puddles of fun.

When my predator the elephant comes to fight,

He charges through giant fudge puddles on sight,

Like a humongous, somersaulting ball of fudge.

His poem follows suit with Silverstein’s poem “The Dragon of Grindly Grun” in A Light in the Attic, for all of you literary enthusiasts.

I sit in wonderment at the end of our day and I’m so grateful for the time I have to spend learning with my kid.  Despite we experience some bumps and glumps and dumpy moments, the discovery part is grand.  Today we discovered the silliness of words and crazy birds.  I attribute the richness of our day to the innocence of a child’s imagination that leaves an air of sweetness in our classroom with Fudge.

Sabrina Albrecht

Mom, Educator at Home


Prologue to the Past

Co-op Buddies

Prologue to the Past

It’s been at the forefront of my mind for years…write a book.  Write a book about what matters with education.  Embrace the ideas that strengthen developmental processes of the individual child’s growth.  A framework without walls, far from the mainstream and pigeon holing of young minds.  A book that displays researched and tried methods supporting a creative model that makes a difference in the life of a child…in the mind of a child.  I do just that with this book based on two valuable lessons in my life that brought me to understand:  I am unique!  Education is profoundly individual!  If education successfully realizes each child’s potential, then each child is unique.  By nature, the provision for individualized education follows.  Where the ideas are not new, the Cooperative Model here is innovative and has realized the individualization a child needs to grow socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively.  Education has for decades reached for individualized approaches to teach the whole child.  However, when one considers the vast numbers of children in a setting where classrooms are 25-35 students deep, individualizing education becomes secondary; ‘covering’ content is priority and time poses severe constraints on the process of facilitation.  While my efforts to reach the masses is a personal goal, it poses conflict for the nature of my model, unless the essence of ideas presented here remain a constant.

The path to the Cooperative Model was one that meandered for more than 10 years.  When it finally took hold in my mind, it was the year my son was born.  I was an administrator in a public school setting and torn with the thought of returning to 50 hours a week with a new born at home.  By this time in my life, I had more than a decade of teaching and administrative experience, along with the building blocks for making a difference in education; marking the turning point for creating my own school of thought–literally.

I was invited by a close friend to a community forum for the presentation of a much needed, new pre-school in our area.  Little did I know it was an open invitation to join forces to further an idea for the school.  I was thrilled to learn the idea was engrossed in the same school of thought I held.  I remember distinctly the dank room the meeting was held.  It wreaked of sweaty bodies and bleach.  The Kings Beach Elementary catered to the community like all public schools, becoming a servant to community and family needs beyond the scope of education, all of which I was intimately familiar.  The room carried the title The Family Resource Center and it was jam packed with pre-school to kindergarten aged children 8:00am to 3:00pm.  It had the convenience of the Boys and Girls Club on the same property, where children were herded after school hours, leaving it empty for other ventures.  This venture was a group of four, including me.  Two women stood proudly next to a large pamphlet of paper hung on a wooden easel.  Each held  a black, permanent marker.  Their faces laden with anxiety over how few people took heed to their calling to fill a need in our community.  I, however, sat intent with my 15 month old son and it warmed my heart to see him naturally migrate toward the other three children in the room; a natural process obviously nurtured by these two women for this moment.  The women began their talk regarding a viable, safe, pre-school offering children time to explore and discover their surroundings rather than simply existing within them.  A context that suggested interaction with other children and adults supporting growth with a whole child approach.  They spoke my language.  I duly noted my child would explore his world with these very children.  My heart jumped!

By the end of that one hour, I understood that I was joining this duo in its infancy.  They outlined, with their heavy, black, permanent markers, their mission, philosophy, pedagogy, and the exact cost break down of tuition based on 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, and a 5 child enrollment.  It was almost exactly what I had spent the past few years outlining myself–with one twist.  The idea of a cooperative component.  As a mainstream teacher, I had a single understanding for cooperative learning; small groups of varied aged children learning with and from each other.  The concept these women introduced was different.  Cooperative from their perspective is families with children joining forces to educate children together in a homelike, classroom environment.  I regarded my new understanding for cooperative as a helpful supplement to my model.  All the dynamics fell into place.  I asked to be a part of the board and I was immediately granted acceptance.  Together, we forged a path with our eclectic array of ideas to create an enigma of learning for children–the Cooperative Model.

As of that day in May 2004, we had four children.  We needed only to recruit one more to make the program fly.  There was much work ahead, so much in fact, I’m not sure we understood the scope of it all.  We simply knew our next step was to start the set up of a classroom.  We had three potential cottages at our disposal.  These three structures were tiny homes, each equipped with a bathroom, kitchen and separate rooms big enough to transform into discovery play areas for little people.  We had one at our immediate disposal, as the remaining two were rented…for now.  Lillian, who owned the property, was ready to hand it to education, one cottage at a time, and unify to build programs for children.

In five short years, our programs grew from pre-school to fifth grade, occupying all three cottages and the addition of the storage unit; which was transformed into a winter time lunchroom.  Our positions on the board morphed as our programs grew and Lillian saddled the Director of Pre-school position, while I stepped up to the Director of Elementary platform.  Lillian’s certification and experience was extensive in the pre-school realm, with a degree in child development and 13 years experience in the classroom.  Together our experiences grounded our decisions to realize the vision for an alternative in education creating choice in our community.

This book is a compilation of the Cooperative Model for growing children and families who share the same vision for bringing experiential learning to our community, using our community as our classroom.  This book represents the Cooperative Model as we developed the concept and brought it to the forefront of education.  It is our dreams and our willingness to take a leap of faith to create that which we most believe will shape our children into the leaders of tomorrow.  We build on unity and community, erasing the stigmas of grade levels.  We embrace the minds of our children to think with each other and for for themselves.


Family Values; Rolling with the Punches

Otto and Mimi

The last couple months have presented some financial challenges for our tiny family unit.  The three of us have made decisions that place us in a different kind of living situation–we share space with my parents.  It’s not the first time my husband, John, and I have chosen this route.  It is, however, the first time we’ve done it with a child.  The constant for our decisions emanate from our family values, which drive our need to help our parents and vise-a-verse, as issues present themselves.

We both come from backgrounds where we learned family is priority.  As kids, we didn’t participate in much beyond our family gatherings, like after school clubs, sleep overs, and team sports.  Rather, weekend outings, vacations, and competition were kept within our family and fostering individuality was at the forefront.  I say that is true for the most part.  We certainly had our extended family and friends in our lives and they played a large role — just on our turf.

I’m honored for the closeness my parents coveted for us kids.  John shares the same values and as an only child, his dynamic was much different from having four siblings to haggle with on a daily basis.  His energies spilled into individual sports, where he was a successful ski racer through college.  Together, we innately pass our value system to our son.

There’s value to be discovered with challenging times in life, as it builds a stronger family unit.  For now, we cope daily with the trivial frustrations, like the varying degree of cleanliness, dietary demands, and schedules from each part of the family.   While my parents get up at 3:00am to converse, which entails a political dissertation delivered by my father and followed by meaningful chatter–John, my son and I are trying to sleep.  I savor the late afternoons to prepare a family meal with the help of my eight year old son while sipping wine, it develops into a cornucopia of food–much too late for my parents‘ taste.  None of us stand our ground.  We do complain at times, but generally we flex.  We cope.  We roll with it.  For the alternative would drive us apart.  And right now, we need each other.

These kinds of situations don’t present themselves within the boundaries of classroom walls. These life lessons teach family bonds…their purpose, their strength, their love and the ability to to roll with the punches of life.

Sabrina Albrecht

Mom, Educator at Home


Home Grown Lessons

Otto

We ski and my kid knows nothing else between the months of December through April.  Living in a small, mountain town lends itself to snow skiing and we take full advantage of our benefits on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.  The locals here don’t spend their time sleeping in when a strong storm blows through.  You’ll find us anxiously hiking a hill to get first tracks before the sun rises. We enjoy our first cup of coffee and a bowl of Cheerios after that.
Lessons in the pure enjoyment for a sport are those I coddle.  These are the lessons that, at times, are not planned and savor the phrase–carpe diem.  My eight year old son rolls with it, because he doesn’t know the alternative yet.  He understands the initial angst of dragging himself from between warm sheets and back into a pair of ski pants and a down jacket, has more to offer in the long run of his day.  He gets excited about the snow fall and boasts about powder skiing before he’s even on the snow with his sticks.  These are the mornings I revel, because I have the opportunity to teach my passion to my son.  It’s the easiest lesson.
On those days we have sunshine and groomed runs at our local resort, we run hot laps down our favorite run together.  I struggle to keep pace with my son, as he rips through the park, carves perfectly to a speedy stop…and waits patiently for me.  I’m out of breath when I get to him.  He smiles and takes off agin with a giggle.  There’s nothing better.
Fostering the joys of a sport you share with your children builds strong bonds between child and parent.  It’s the stuff you can’t teach in a classroom.  It’s the stuff you won’t find in a text book or on a test.  It’s the stuff that gets pushed aside sometimes, as our lives get busy.  It’s the stuff I reach for ever day.  I grab that time and spend it doing something my kid and I enjoy…together.
Sabrina Albrecht
Mom, Educator at Home