23 Oct Away From Home, Together
Last year, my son Henry participated in TEVA, a wonderful 6th grade experience, in which students spend several days in nature. When he came home, Henry flopped on the couch, happy, energized and exhausted. He looked at me, beaming, and said, “Mom, I didn’t think it was possible to have so much fun and learn so much at the same time! We went hiking and during the hikes, talked about all sorts of nature facts. The guides were amazing and knew everything about every tree we saw and how the environment supports the growth of the forest. We even had goats hike with us!”
Henry continued his breathless commentary by talking about his amazing friends and teachers. “My friends and teachers are the best!” He relayed a story about a friend who had never been away from home on an extended overnight; this was the student’s first experience sleeping away for three nights (not with relatives). The first night, at bedtime, this student displayed classic homesickness. Several of the kids in the room did everything they could to make this child feel better. According to Henry, there was an absence of teasing or other typical negative behavior that might have occurred in this situation. Additionally, a teacher was contacted to help. The student made it through that first night. The rest of the trip, including bedtime, was a great success for him.
I realized after talking to Henry that in addition to receiving an excellent education, he is also part of a wonderful community, including terrific teachers and administrators who truly care about their students. His fellow students, great kids, share great families. I once again believed that sending Henry to Schechter Manhattan was one of the best decisions we ever made as parents.