It is 10 am on a weekday well into a typical conventional school year and we are at the beach building castles in the sand. We are enjoying the last bit of sunny weather before winter comes. An older women strolls by and stops to make comments about how nice it is out. We make small talk as her eyes linger on my oldest.
The conversation stalls and then the stranger curiously asks, “No school today?”
I smile and pleasantly reply, “We are homeschoolers.”
Her smile fades, she looks back at my daughter playing in the sand and then says her goodbyes. She didn’t say anything negative but not saying anything and leaving was enough.
I can see what she sees- a little girl playing in the sand when she should be in school. I heard it last week too when the park ranger asked the same thing while we were out on a nature walk and again at the grocery store at 1 pm.
Based on what they didn’t say, tones and facial expressions provided a fairly good idea that not one person thought my children were being educated.
However all they saw was a glimpse. No one has seen what I’ve seen or live our life.
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By the time the little girl next door is waiting at the bus stop we have made and eaten a hot breakfast together. Plus, had our morning bible time. I know, I see her out there waiting as we finish up.
By the time that little girl has reached school my oldest has completed a lesson from A Gentle Feast’s Beauty loop. Which is one of the following: A composer study, poetry recitation, poetry study, hymn study, fable/tales.
From that point in that little girls day I am not sure what she does but I do recall my own experience from those early school years.
I can picture how long it takes for that little girl to get off the bus and into her classroom. How much time it takes for a morning greeting and then to get everyone to settle down for seated work.
I set up a snack and begin to read Red Sails To Capri our history read aloud from A Gentle Feast. I read a couple chapters and my oldest asks for a break. My youngest is bouncing around with energy and it is hot outside.
Perfect time to take everyone to the beach and burn off that energy.
Our “recess” was over an hour at the beach. Where my daughter freely played. She built a sand castle with many rooms. She described an imaginative story of princesses and kings. Her castle adorned with seagull feathers, shells, and surrounded by a moat. This dramatic type of play is no doubt largely influenced by our intentional use of living books, decreased t.v./tech time, and increased time out of doors.
This is what I get to be a part of every day.
When the world sees this they have no idea what they are missing.
We are homeschoolers, which isn’t school at home.
It means that my oldest might focus her attention on getting lessons done early so she can go to the beach or on a nature walk.
That she has ballet once a week and we have co-op every other Friday.
Sometimes it means a nature study (living science) on a Saturday.
If you find us at a grocery store during “school hours” we are most likely grabbing a few things and teaching basic math, life, & social skills.
It is the concept that our “school” is always happening. That homeschooling encompasses the whole child and is holistic-body.mind.spirit.
As Charlotte Mason had said, “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”
My purpose in sharing this isn’t to justify our choice of education but to open the eyes of our society.
What does homeschooling look like to you?