#163 summer is here

Today is the first official day of freedom – all three kids out with no school.  Hallelujah!

This was our first (and likely last) year of public school. 8 was in second grade.  The school itself was fine.  I would consider it mediocre.  Which is fine by me.  It was very diverse, which was one of the main reasons we made the decision to go there.  He had a fine year.  Academically, his reading improved a lot.  But that was really it.  I don’t think he learned a thing in math or writing or anything else.

He made friends.  He liked his teacher.  I thought she was nice – but in way over her head.  And not all that bright either, for the record.

It’s a tough choice on where and how to educate your child.  I know there are people who just call the public school system to find out what time the bus will pick up the kids and where it will take them and that’s that.  But I’m not one of those people.  We put a lot of thought into it.

8 was homeschooled the year before – for first grade.  In general, I think I like homeschooling for our family.  I could argue that I think my kids learn more at home than they do at school – including “socially.”  But that’s not even the real reason why I like it.  I like it because I’m really lazy.  I like being able to sleep late, stay up late, do whatever we want.  I like being able to take lessons in anything under the sun and still be home for dinner each night.  I like that with homeschooling they have so many hours each day to fill with what they want.  And to PLAY.  Kids need to play.  It’s their job.  We need to back off and let ’em do it.

But for a bunch of reasons (and one of them being we hadn’t met a single child of color in our town who was being homeschooled), we decided to do a year of “real school” last year.  And it served its purpose as far as I’m concerned.  Kid had fun.  Kid realized that public school sucks a lot of time out of his life.  Kid now thinks homeschooling is a pretty sweet deal.

So this is the beginning of summer.  But also the beginning of a freedom to learn what we want when we want for the older two, who will both be homeschooled this fall.  (The youngest will do afternoon kindergarten at the best school on the planet.)

We spent today in typical fashion.  Mommy slept in til 8.  Kids played Legos and made birthday cards while I was sleeping.  Then we made muffins.  And had showers.  And then they invented this game where they stocked a briefcase with things they were going to need to do research on the bunnies in our yard.  And they poked their head inside to ask if we could please eat our lunch outside.  So we picniced.  Then read 2 chapters of Pippi Longstocking.  Then watched the plumber fix our toilets.  Lots of questions were asked.  Then we got out the hose to play with water guns, etc.  Now they are in the invention room, making an Optimus Prime costume before dinner.  We are headed to the museum tonight to see a display of Egyptian stuff.  And then out for ice cream before bed.

There’s learning to be had during all this lazy free time.  And play too.  It works for us.

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