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  • August 2007
    M T W T F S S
  • www.serendipitybathco.com

Happy School Year!

I bet you were expecting something about our trip to Pinehurst? Maybe some pictures and a few stories? Well, I’m still trying to get through the massive amount of pictures, so until I do I’ll write about this…

We’ve been so busy having fun this summer, that I haven’t even realized that it’s getting down to crunch time for the vast majority of kids out there who are living it up in the next week or two before school starts. (That has to be the longest, unpunctuated sentence ever.) The Golfer and The Naturalist’s friends are mourning their final week of no school. Some of our homeschooling friends are ordering and organizing curriculum for the upcoming year. Back to school materials are being bought and sold at an amazing clip! Last year I was right in the mix, and freaking out just a bit about teaching two kids AND managing a toddler. I wondered if I should find a preschool to put her while I taught the older kids in the morning.

One thing led to another, and here we are unschooling. To many, that means I am part of the circus under the exibit “NOT TEACHING HER KIDS ANYTHING AT ALL!” but I know better. What it has meant to us is that learning is all the time, not just from 9-4 or 5 days a week. It means we never take a ‘spring break’ from learning or a ‘Christmas holiday’ from understanding things. What it means is that we did tons of ‘schooling’ on our summer vacation. So when people ask me when our school year is starting back up, I get kinda confused and answer back, “It never stopped!”.

I’m not anti curriculum, but I am pro child driven learning, and sometimes it takes a while for the child to find just the right thing to study. Last year was our first without any formal curriculum and I won’t lie–it stressed me out a little bit. They ditched every school book we had. Severed every tether to a ‘quantifiable and measurable learning’. But then we started having so much fun travelling, going to museums, playing at the park, hiking in the mountains, and I forgot to worry. And then something amazing happened! The Naturalist (a mathophobic if there ever was one) asked me if she could start doing some math work during the day for the upcoming year. She said, “Math at school was stressful, but math at home is interesting. I think I got burned out, and needed a break from it. But now I’d love to learn more!” And then, just the other day, The Golfer asked if we could get some more science books with experiments. And if he could learn how to write in cursive. And learn to read from some of his WWII books.

It’s nice to continue our year with the kids asking to learn things, rather than dreading the start of another school year.

Now, I’ve heard that there are actual kids out there who really enjoy school. I wasn’t one of those, and my kids weren’t either…but I’ve seen kids skipping down the sidewalk anticipating the bus. And despite my rather extreme form of schooling, I’m all for that. Homeschool, Unschool, Public School, Private School….anytime and anyplace a kid loves to learn, it’s a good thing.

So, here’s to the new school year! To some, the learning cycle is an ebb and flow, never really stopping. For others, learning is about to get a kick start in a new grade. For everyone, I wish a happy, fun, exciting learning adventure for the rest of this year!

6 Responses

  1. Here’s to freedom!

  2. I’m always encouraged (and admittedly still once-in-a-while surprised) by older children wanting to learn traditional subjects. I am a work in progress… and am doing my best to get over it, but there you have it.
    Thanks so much for keeping those of us with littles on the path of Trust.
    Sincerely, Stephanie (and I’ll be watching for Pinehurst, also!)

  3. You couldn’t have put it better! “Child driven learning” is what it’s all about. 🙂 Have fun in Meinnesota, we will miss the daily posts, but have awonderful time with your super cute kiddos. 🙂

  4. Well said. Same thing for us here. At first the lack of structure (read – no textbooks, no formal cirriculum) stressed me out too but I’m coming around.

    It’s so great and validating when they start making lesson requests on their own.

    Love the site, keep it up.

  5. […] just like last year, here’s to another school year–for those who participate in it and for those who opt […]

  6. Lovely way of putting it into words – I am anti curriculum in a box, but I guess not totally anti curriculum if that is what a kid wants. But more importantly, I am pro child driven learning. It is so much more fun!

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