Woody's six now, which means he's old enough to go to the homeschool P.E. day at the community center. We'd never tried it before, and I didn't know quite what to expect, so I wore my sports bra and barefoot running shoes so I could play with him. Happily, it was "parent participation day," so there were six of us taller folks playing along.
It was straight-up P.E., taught by an ex-college b-ball coach, with warm-up stretches and drills, relay runs, and dodge ball! It had been a long time since I rolled a hoop around my hips or shimmied through a fabric tunnel on the ground. And the somersaults! My gods! I lost my hair stick and I got so dizzy I had to recover for a moment before standing up! (When did that happen!?!) But I bounced back and forth between doing the activities with Woody and hanging with Fox, who was entertained climbing up and down and behind the bleachers on the sidelines.
I don't think classroom or team dynamics are that hard to pick up on. I think our social natures more or less kick in, and while all of us have circumstances under which we're more or less comfortable, it's not one of the trickier interactions. Woody understood and accepted the coach's authority. When he wanted to get a drink once and come over to talk to me about the rules of a game once, he did, without fear that he was violating some code of conduct. And the other stuff--shaking off disappointments during the games, dealing with the intense cheering and urging from the sidelines from his fellow teammates during relays, sharing balls during dodgeball, laughing with the other kids when he got beaned in the head--these things happened.
So I guess if we had a checklist of schooly-type things that we were aiming to expose Woody to, then today's checked boxes would be "class behavior" and "group dynamics." It would also be "fun" and "silly" and "active" and "new." I figured if we could all get through a game of dodge ball smiling and joking, then it was a pretty great first "class" experience.