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Missing the bus (for another year)

We live in a small cul de sac. Five houses, only ours being home to a child, and not a child who goes to school, yet of all the places in the neighborhood they could have designated as this year's bus stop, they chose the corner of our cul de sac. The first day of school and we are all snug in our beds, right where we like to be at 7:30 in the morning, and what should awake us at such an unseemly hour? The crazy laughter and singing from the school bus stop just outside our windows. I guess they just wanted to make sure we did not miss out on all the joys of a public education.

So we got up early for the first day of school after all. I went running, Calvin dressed nicely, we had breakfast at the counter, and we trudged to the front porch for photos (I wouldn't want to be left out of the facebook "first day of school" photo frenzy, after all), and then we went about our Tuesday as we have on many other Tuesdays before it.

Goodness. He's growing up. This year would see him in first grade in the public school, but in our house he learns outside of grade restrictions. Instead we try to go where interest and ability guide us. Calvin spent everyone else's first day of school playing piano, doing a math sheet or two, writing in his journal, reading Through the Looking Glass, taking swimming lessons, going out to lunch with his grandparents, grocery shopping, sorting books at the library, and building with Lego blocks. The rest of the week wasn't too different.

Having begun with the Well Trained Mind we have changed things a bit over the past month, spending the morning with more "formal" lessons, and the afternoon in choice learning. We're working in Math-U-See's Gamma books, we are midway through the Story of the World, which we combine with Intellego's history units, and we are also midway through the first BFSU book, which boils down right now to multiplication, the history of the ancients, and, right now, earth and life sciences. In addition we are using Spelling Workout book C, and First Language Lessons book 1, but because Calvin is such an avid reader most of those lessons are unnecessary, and I'd leave them behind if Calvin didn't seem to enjoy them so. More important will be what he reads, and choosing material that is both age and ability appropriate has been a challenge.

Even though we do not really take the summers off the way others do, this is the way we are beginning what feels like a new school year. It feels too defined to me, too far from our unschooling beginnings and hopes, but Calvin is thriving with this plan, and I find it comfortable. Some day soon, I would like to define for myself just what it would mean to teach following a desire with research, trying, and doing, but Calvin helps me with the planning now, and is interested in all that we do. It is a change in our methods, but I'm sure they will change again, which is the point of homeschooling for us: doing what works at the time.

And so we embark on another year of missing the bus to school.

Journaling our trip to the lake.

Reading Anansi stories.



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Reader Comments (1)

The bus used to stop right outside our house, too. I used to love hearing it so that I could have a moment of gratefulness and happiness that mine weren't getting on that bus!
September 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhyllis

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