During a recent Socratic Zoom discussion, we asked the elementary school Eagles if they found it easier or harder to work from home where there may be less distractions than in the studio but also fewer opportunities to collaborate with peers.
Their first quick answers were along these lines: “It’s easier! There are fewer distractions.”
But, as happens with all good discussions, a disagreement arose: “I disagree. I work better after I’ve helped someone else.”
Lots of heads began nodding on the screen. The concluding statement as they conceded struck me: “I agree. Helping helps me.”
Herein lies the beauty of becoming an “independent learner.” The progression moves from feeling excited about having the inner skills to manage time, set goals, gain focus and find resources to then realizing the beauty of working with others. It’s not only that you learn to seek help, it’s even more that you learn to give help.
As we remain in isolation from each other, the Eagles are discovering the power of helping. They miss it.
Based on this discussion, here’s my new game plan at for working and doing school from home: I’m going to tap into my children’s natural desire to help. I want them to feel that joy and satisfaction that comes from giving true help. And I don’t mean with just household chores. That’s a given. I’m going to ask for help with my work and my learning – authentically asking for their input with curiosity. Rather than separate our work spaces, I’m going to carve a bit of time each day to say: “I could really use your help on something. What would you do if you were in my shoes? How would you solve this problem?”
And since I could use some of that good juju, I’ll ask them: “Is there anything I can help you with?” I hope they’ll say yes.