Christmas is a good time at the rancho of the Gonzales family at Punta Boca del Salado in Baja California, Mexico.
This is for one reason only.
All the children of the large family are there.
And this brings a liveliness to the place that makes feel joy, hope and bliss.
Twice a day they want “classos”.
That we all sit around the table under the big palmtree leaved roof.
Each child having a piece of paper and a pen.
On top of the paper they write their name, the date and draw a large box.
This box serves to note the stars they are going to make when having accomplished the challenges successfully.
They chose themselves what subject they want: English, Spanish, mathematics, drawing.
And they chose themselves how many stars they have earned for the job they did.
What makes this teaching so interesting is to try to give as much independence to the child as possible.
It is absolutely authoritative to decide for a child how good or how bad the result of working is.
The child knows this very well and can decide him/herself how much should be awarded.
And the child should chose what it wants to do.
There are moments a child is for example more ready and in the mood to do mathematics.
Then why impose to want to teach English?
Another vital aspect to the teaching that makes it so interesting and such a joy is that children remain interested and eager to learn if the challenges are presented to them each time in a new and different way.
This asks creativity and inventiveness of the teacher.
The rule is, the more of this is put into it, the more will come out.
So, in fact the children are teaching the teacher also.
To be creative and inspiring.
Never a session with the children is ended without telling them:
muchas gracias, estudiantes.
And this is sincere because the children are adding a fantastic dimension to life.