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Back to homeschool

I’m writing an article for Growing Up in Santa Cruz‘s September issue about what “back to homeschool” means to local homeschooling families, but I didn’t have space to include my own thoughts on that. So here they are….

This is one scene from our messy homeschooling last year

This is one scene from our messy homeschooling last year. Early in our homeschooling career, another homeschooler said to me, "Perhaps you're just a bit too neat to be a homeschooler!" But see? I do allow messes to happen: this is science fair prep...

Back to homeschool means realizing that summer is almost over and we still haven’t had a single day without a scheduled event, all summer…

Back to homeschool means looking at my disarray of a homeschooling corner in the breakfast room and remembering that I’ve seen school classrooms in worse shape…

Back to homeschool means waking up in the morning and realizing that I’m actually going to homeschool two children this year, and I’m still not sure how to do one…

Back to homeschool means that before we go back to homeschool, I get to spend a weekend away at the HSC Homeschooling Conference in Sacramento. Most families go as a family, but fellow blogger Heddi introduced me to the idea that we are with our kids all year long, so we deserve a break! So I am going to retool, and present three workshops myself.

Back to homeschool means a growing excitement about going back to our public homeschool program and seeing our friends we haven’t gotten together with all summer.

Back to homeschool means remembering that although Montessori’s “clean it up after you use it” philosophy is attractive to my neatness gene, homeschooling is all about day-long or multi-day projects in which messes happen and messes stay, and stay, and stay…

Like other homeschoolers, back to homeschool means the fun we get to have going to museums and parks that are empty of schooling families. We’re happy to give these places a miss during the crowded summers.

Back to homeschool means wondering if I can keep up with everything I need to I do for myself and still educate my kids.

Heres another homeschooling mess from last year!

Here's another homeschooling mess from last year! Building with Lego is a perfectly acceptable homeschool activity! We used to have the "use it then put it away rule. Now I allow for muti-day projects till it's time to vacuum...

Back to homeschool means salivating over all the incredibly cool opportunities that start popping up: carpentry class, science classes, online literature classes, someone forming a nature group, someone else forming a homeschool co-op… and wondering whether we can squeeze one more thing into our crazy schedules.

Back to homeschool means thinking about the ways that I will make myself available to other homeschoolers for support and help educating their children — one of my favorite parts of homeschooling.

Back to homeschool means wondering if any of my friends will be willing to take on my kids this year, after they got to deal with one of them last year……….

Back to homeschool means a continual re-evaluation of our educational choices. Are there really no schools that could do better? Are we really happy with this? Would it just be easier to stick them both in private school and get a job?

Back to homeschool means excitement over knowing how much my kids will learn, leading themselves to answer questions and develop their own interests.

Back to homeschool reminds me that I have to suppress my dislike of clutter, because a good homeschool day often leaves some craziness in its wake….

Back to homeschool means wondering whether I should buy a boxed curriculum just in case I miss something…

And back to homeschool reminds me that I missed plenty of things when I was in school, but when they became important later I learned them.

Yep, I have to get used to messy if Im going to do this homeschooling thing...

Yep, I have to get used to messy if I'm going to do this homeschooling thing... When a kid has to do experiments with magnetism, who cares if it's right where you stand to play guitar?

Mostly, back to homeschool means a renewed commitment to a choice that is a commitment. It started as a fallback because everything else had failed, but now it’s a choice that I must embrace and celebrate in order to be successful.

I don’t think that homeschooling would be for every family, but this year we’re going to take a chance on it being right for us…

…for now, at least, which is as far ahead as I can plan!

Posted in Homeschooling.

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