Monday, September 23, 2013

Four Weeks into our School Year

We started back with our formal lessons on August 26th. Most of Bear's friends went back about a week and a half before, but we were too busy being at Disney World.

Nah nah nah boo boo?

All the local Florida schools were back in, too, but there were a LOT of European families there!

It's kind of fascinating (I think that's an oxymoron...) to me how different our first month looked this year as compared to last year. We were completely different homeschoolers a year ago. We were brand new to the game, unsure of how to relate to each other in this brand new way. Bear was still bitter with me about making her miss out on participating in drama club (which got canceled, anyway) and Project Ascent (which is cool, but nothing we can't do at home) and being with her friends all day (I won't even get started on that one). I was still actively struggling with the notion that school at home does not have to look like school at school. We were having fun and learning a lot, but I think we learned more about ourselves and our relationship than we did about Ancient Whatevapotamia or the SuperDuperFancy Equation.

We weren't floundering, as I approached everything with caution and tried very hard to be okay with discarding things that didn't work for us. But we were definitely finding our way. And after some ruthless but judicious weed cutting, we've found ourselves on a really lovely path. There are flowers to smell to the left and caterpillars to stare at to the right. There are volumes of historical fiction dangling from branches right at eye level. There are clear spots to stop and rest, to lay down a quilt and enjoy the silence, the freedom, and the power of choice.

It's going really well.

Lest you think me an optimist (the horror!), there is no pie in my sky. There is usually pie in my refrigerator, because I am a compulsive baker and also PIE! PIE! But you know, every day has its hiccups. It's not all caterpillar watching and flower smelling. There are days when it takes me five or ten "gentle reminders" in an increasingly loud voice to get Bear to mosey downstairs and PUT THE DAMN POET IN YOUR BOOK OF CENTURIES! My favorite delightful challenge as of late has been the crapping out of my printer, which I need to make copies of our math and grammar pages and sometimes other fun stuff, too. Not to mention the way Bug seems to believe read-a-loud time is also scream-loudly-about-milk-or-some-unintelligible-yet-crucial-Thing time.

But I gotta tell you—after a full year and one month of this life, I cannot imagine giving up this in the middle of the morning for anything:

My babes, sharing an apple in their cushion fort.

It's been the right choice for us from the word "go". I hope everyone's school year—home, private, public, magnet, Montessori, military, whatever—is going fabulously. And I hope ours KEEPS going fabulously. *crosses fingers*

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