Saturday, October 22, 2005

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.


Southern_Mom_of_4 said...

I'm still enjoying reading your blog...I wish you the best with your oldest daughter. My oldest is 11 now, and we just started our homeschooling journey last week. She is enjoying it, and I am so very glad we decided to go ahead and start instead of waiting any longer. Both of my girls are responding positively to it. I am striving to follow the classical method outlined in "The Well Trained Mind" but find it very difficult to structure it too much, even though that is what my girls are used to from PS -- heck it's what I'm used to as well. I know already they will be learning so much more than they did in PS and will have time to follow their interests.

Patrice said...

Sounds promising. Maybe it will become her idea if she enjoys the book. And yay about B being on the same page as you. My SIL and I were out the other night doing Santa's work and she's for homeschooling BUT my almost 6 year old is so smart and she works for a company that would give her a discount if her kids (she has no kids and she's 40 so she's super aunt) went to a really great school and she said "I'd hate for her to miss out on a great education" Hmmm, she's never been to school, she's very smart, so um I think that her brother and I have been doing a good job thank you very much. :)