Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rain School

One of my favorite things is exposing my kids to real world experiences through books.  Yes, I'm a nerd.  A few years ago, I came across this book entitled Rain School.

It's a story that documents school aged children of Chad, Africa arriving on their first day of school.  When they get to the place where the school should be, there is nothing but their teacher standing there.  The students' first lesson is to build their school out of mud bricks, straw, and sticks.  They also build their desks out of mud.  Then they are able to start their lessons.  The school year comes to an end just as the heavy rains begin.  Those yearly rains wash away all their hard work for the year.  They know they will have to rebuild their school for the next year.  It's a great story of the lengths some children have to go to learn.

I wish I had found this book when I was a teacher.  It would be a Must Read on the first day of school.  I would even have the kids build their own 'mini' school out of mud bricks just so they could see the difficulties these kids face just to have a place to learn.  However, I'm no longer a teacher.  Luckily, I have little guys running around the house so I get to play 'school' with them.

When I first came across this book, Little Man was just 3 years old.  He had never been to school before so the story was just 'interesting' to him.  He had no prior knowledge of what school was about or what a classroom looked like.  Now he knows.

As he's rounding out his first year of public school, I thought it would be a good time to check the book out again.  This time he had all kinds of questions.

How come the kids are all the same color?
Why don't some kids have shoes on?
Where do they play?
Why are there big kids in the same class as the little kids?

As he was firing off the questions, I was in heaven.  I love answering questions and watching his face as he learns something new.  Now I just have to convince Steven to allow him to make a mini mud bricked school in our backyard.  It might involve messing up his precious grass, so maybe we'll shoot for the field a few lots away from us and let out neighbors think I'm crazy.  Who am I kidding?  I am crazy ;)

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