Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Can you believe it is September already?

Where has 2009 gone? I can't believe it is the first day of September already! Today was the final SUMMER PE DAY, set up by a homeschooling mom from the local Catholic homeschooling group. We joined them when we could throughout the summer. My boys enjoyed the fact that there were older boys there to play with and Sophia loved the fact that she had girls close to her age to play with, one great thing about those large catholic families! It was always great fun watching the kids interact, to see them include the younger kids in their games or to watch the older kids play on the playsets like they were 4 rather than 14. I believe that the ability to play is one of the many freedoms homeschooled children have, to not be told they are "too old" for such foolish things and told to sit still at a desk, but to be able to play and enjoy the waning days of summer!

As we sat at the park, surrounded by homeschooling families, I realized just how different we were from the others sitting there. As they talked about curriculum and grading papers and what subjects they "had" to cover this year, I sat quiet. The mom sitting next to me whispered to me "you unschool right? even your highschool kids?" I looked at her and smiled and answered "yes, even my highschoolers". She commented "I wish I could do that". I just smiled. I have had that discussion before. It never proves to be very fruitful. I don't know why I was able to make that leap of faith and embrace unschooling. I don't know why so many, who admit that the education system has so many flaws, are so quick to replicate that model at home. I don't know why they are so convinced that if their child doesn't learn everything listed on the world book outline for what a 1st grader should know by the time they are 6 years old that they will never be able to learn it. Why are they so fearful? Or maybe a better question would be why am I so fearless?

Admittedly my boys have been late readers. Grant probably didn't read at all until about the age of 10, But now he reads anything he wants, which happens to be more myspace and facebook or video game cheat codes than anything,or so I thought, but just the other day he asked me if I had heard about a recent news story about a boy dying while playing football and I commented yes and asked where he heard about it. His answer "Oh, I read it on roadrunner's homepage". He then told me that he usually reads all the news story on the homepage every day.

Jacob has just recently mastered reading and he is 11, he amazed me the other day when he read something that I figured he didn't know most of the words in. Again, his main motivation was video games. Honestly I NEVER worried that he wouldn't read. Sometimes I wonder if that means I am a bad mother. Somehow I know they learn in spite of me!

Today was bittersweet, park days are done for the year because our fellow homeschoolers relegate themselves to a schedule that doesn't allow time for play once the school buses for their district have taken to the streets. Maybe we will be lucky and see them again next summer, when they emerge again from their "home" school. We certainly will miss them!

Here are a few pictures, one of the other moms took some wonderful ones, but I was too content just sitting to go and get my camera and I don't think I should share her pictures since I don't have permission from the other parents whose children were there.....
One of Luke enjoying the slide:

and one of Sophia!


Stephanie said...

Right on Laura!
Cute pics too :)

Anonymous said...

You *are* fearless...or perhaps incredibly trusting is a better word? I don't know. What you write rings true. I find myself, two weeks into the district's schedule, radically re-examining what I carefully planned all summer. :-)

I have come to accept that while I love creating all these "wonderful" plans, I very rarely enjoy sticking with such plans. More importantly, the kids don't like such imposed work (though they do enjoy checking off boxes...go figure).

I miss your company. Sadly, we're even more tied to the school schedule as John has chosen to attend Jr. High part-time (it's all for basketball, sheesh).