"And you only have to check in ONE time throughout the year?"
"And you don't have to prove anything or have Zach take any tests or anything? You just talk to them?"
My parents have known that we were going to homeschool since I was pregnant. It's something we were sure about before we were even sure we wanted kids. They are completely supportive, but I think perhaps their idea of homeschooling is creating a school-like environment in the home.
No thank you.
If we HAD to put a label on what our style is, I'd call it Waldorf Inspired Unschooling. And although I truly believe that learning starts at birth and happens all the time, we start our official, state sanctioned Kindergarten year in a couple of weeks. This is the year everyone takes notice. This is the year people ask us why we're at the park on a Tuesday in November at 11:00am. This is the year many of Z's little friends will spend ALL day, everyday mostly indoors in a large group while we travel, play, roadtrip, field trip, fish, dig, draw, cook, and generally have fun.
So here's a recent example of life as school.
Zach LOVES beads and rocks and gems and baubles. Taking him into the bead store would be way more drama than taking a typical kid into a candy shop. So I set a budget. He got $5 to spend in the bead store. There were hundreds of little pots of beads with prices.
(photo from The Bead Bungalow web site)We slowly spent the morning picking out this and that, me helping him figure it out. Ok you've already spent $1 and these would be $2 more, where does that leave you... and so on. He didn't know we were adding and subtracting and budgeting and figuring out. He was just thrilled that I acquiesced to bringing him and buying beads at all.
Many parents consider being a store with their kids to be a completely unpleasant experience that one should rush through and get over with at all costs. But I find whether it's groceries or beads or the marina hardware store, getting him involved and taking it slow not only helps him learn on so many levels, it makes the whole experience more fun for both of us.
Of course the real fun was at home making necklaces. He had a lava rock bead, some coral beads, a recycled glass bead, a little turtle, a bead "from my people" (he decided the light blue one looked Inca for some reason), and some odds and ends from home. He was so absorbed.
He decided to wear them all the first day, and now he has them hanging and spends time each morning trying to decide which one is just right for the day.
Who needs workbooks?