Saturday, September 06, 2008

Swimming Upstream

We made it through the first week of school. Not too hard when the first half of the week was spent at a waterpark, celebrating the fact that we didn't have to start school yet. But we finally came home and started school.

I caught dh planning another vacation this morning. He really loves to get away from it all, which makes public school pretty much impossible for us. We've gotten so used to just taking off when everybody else is coming back home. Going against the flow. But I think we're going to stick around for at least a few weeks, or months. For now.

One thing homeschoolers do especially well are lots and lots of field trips. So I returned to a mountain of invitations in my In Box. It would be impossible to fit more than a small fraction of them into our days, and still plow through our Math books at a reasonable pace. So this year, at least for now, I'm skipping out on most of the scheduled field trips. Once again, going against the flow.

Scheduled Activities seem to have become the most important thing these days, among both our homeschool friends and our ps friends. I like them too. We are lucky to be surrounded by a wonderful park district, countless sports clubs and art and music centers. But I see my fellow parents turning into chauffeurs right before my eyes, and that's not for me. Don't get me wrong, my boys are not sitting in front of the tv every day. They get one scheduled activity squeezed into the weekly calendar, and lots of flexibility to go do fun stuff and play with their friends. That is, when their friends can squeeze them in.

Against the flow, yet it seems to be a whole lot easier. Not following the crowd means less time in traffic jams, less time spent getting ready to go places, rushing to be on time. At the waterpark, there were no lines for the water slides. No bumper to bumper holiday weekend traffic (it was headed the other direction!). Play dates can be set up at the last minute, because we're usually free and available for any adventure that may arise.

I still have much planning to do for our year of homeschooling. But within those plans there is much room to grow, expand our studies to include new interests, and discard those that just don't work out.

And always, room for another cup of coffee, and maybe a quick trip to the mountains somewhere.

No comments: