Hello everyone, it is lovely to read about how things are going for you.
I miss MDC so I may show up a bit more often again.
This year we get to file the private school affidavit for the first time. The beginning of first grade. We are real, actual home schoolers as of October 1st. Up to now I have considered us "eventual" home schoolers.
Our days are so busy. I feel blessed and burdened by where we live. We could be out of the house seven days a week for twelve hours a day going from event to event. I have to really consciously pull back and say, "We are staying home for two whole days this week. We need rest."
We live in the bay area and there are probably a dozen home schooling groups with a combined total of a few thousand home schoolers within maybe a 100 mile diameter of our house. We have wonderful resources available. Sometimes that feels more like a curse than a blessing.
We can pick between homeschool classes for parkour, or any other martial art, any music class, choir, gymnastics, swimming, languages... it goes on and on. We have so many fabulous resources that I really want to hide in my house with my wonderful library and play ground in the back yard. Can't we be home bodies!! Apparently not.
I have finally found a local baby sitter (a home schooled teenager just a few doors away!) so that I'm not the only one responsible for my kids ALL DAY EVERY DAY. (She has been coming once a week for four hours and now she is going to start coming twice a week for four hours. I AM SO EXCITED.) That feels so awesome. The babysitter is at a stage where she is totally happy to sit down and do four hours of dedicated crafting with the kids. I am super sucky at crafting. I'm not a sit-very-still-to-be-creative person. I like building with wood and painting big things and writing books. I am not what you call "crafty" but I am a maker. Different. I'm really happy they have a substitute big sister nearby who *loves* crafting with them. And we are funding her growing independence. It's a mutually satisfying system.
I wake up between 3:30 and 5am. I get my quiet time before other people wake up. That's when I write my books and watch my wonderful reruns of The West Wing
. (I have nearly memorized the whole series. Love it.) At 6:30 I "come on shift" and I make the tea to go with the breakfast my husband is already making. Youngest daughter (4) sets the table as we all go through our "Good morning, so good to see you again! I hope you slept well." We sound... so Victorian in how we start our day. It's kind of funny and effusive that we keep it up year after year.
After breakfast my husband runs off to work and the kids and I smile at each other and announce, "Chore time!" Then we get up and start tidying up. We spend about an hour. We are generally done with all the tidying by 8 am, often earlier if it wasn't that messy of a day yesterday.
Then it varies dramatically by the day. The babysitter is going to be arriving 8-12 on Mondays and Wednesdays. (I'm so excited I can barely sit still. Now I will have an easier time sending my books out to be rejected by many publishers. W00t!) Tuesdays are park days with the home school group. Thursdays we go hiking with the home school families who live within 3 miles of us. (In the bay people are spread out like mad. Most/many of our friends live a 45+ drive away.) Fridays I flop on the floor and try not to cry. The kids play all day and we generally go into the weekend with a truly fantastic mess.
Life is a lot of fun. We get through so many neat projects. My kids are getting better and better at painting. It helps that they've been working on permanent installation murals since they were in diapers. Their talent by far exceeds mine. I am so proud of them. I'm glad I get to give them the time and space to get good
I love unschooling.