We had 2 birthday parties today. One was for my friend's dd who turned 6 and the other was for my nephew, Paul, who turned 13. One of the mom's (a first grade teacher in N.J.) and I talked about homeschooling and she said it was fabulous that I was doing that. She knew nothing about homeschooling except from her neighbors who are born-again Christians who play "Jesus music" all day long and don't let their kids interact with anyone of differing faiths. I told her that's a whole 'nother group of homeschoolers than the ones I know and deal with.
I felt very at ease talking with her and started describing homeschooling in new ways. I asked her if she could picture how a 3 or 4-year-old child is, with so much curiosity, so much enthusiasm, asking tons of questions, so excited to learn something new, etc. I said that is how homeschooled children are - especially unschooled ones. Children who are free to explore and learn with no pressure, demands or expectations are as open-to-everything as those preschoolers. I described how J has gotten that back now that she is away from school and how I have been hoping that all the "schoolishness" (rhymes with foolishness, doesn't it?) will soon leave her entirely. She was amazed. I was proud of how I handled the questions. And I hope I maybe enlightened her a bit.
J saw her friend, Samantha, who she's knows since they were 3. They don't see each other more than 3x a year, but when they do it's as if they just saw each other yesterday. I have to call them more often for playdates. K hung out with a girl named Victoria, who was at Paul's house. They're both in 7th grade so I'm sure they had tons of clothes and boys to talk about. J played mainly with her little cousins. They are 3 and 5 and J loves being the "big sister" to them. W ran around with his 7 and 5-year old cousins for a while, playing tag and hide and seek. It was so cold and rainy today that all games were kept indoors.
I spoke with B on the car ride home about my conversation with the teacher and he seemed more "on the same page" with me on the homeschooling W idea. K is still refusing to give it a second thought, but I am going to buy her The Teenage Liberation Handbook and Guerilla Learning, both by Grace Llewellyn. I know she'll read them and at least it will open her mind up a little to where I'm coming from.
I was so proud of my kids today. Well, I'm proud of them every day, but just watching them play, interact with other kids, and just "be", I felt so lucky to be their mom.