I'm sitting here this morning listening to Peanut Pie eat her frosted flakes; the only child currently in my house. I almost don't know what to do with this stillness and silence in my household; it's so weird! Miss A and daddy went flying this morning (he's got his private pilot's license), and I can't help but imagine what the sunrise must look like where Wiggly's waking up this morning. He's in one of the most beautiful places in existence (or at least to our family)... Ontario, Canada.
He left this weekend with my parents to spend the week at our family cabin in the Ontario wilderness. My husband is flying up to meet them later this week, but I figured Wiggly could spend the entire week up there since he loves the wilderness and fishing so much. I bet he'd make a great ranger someday. And what has made it possible for him to enjoy this experience during the second week of public school??? Why, it's the beauty of homeschooling, of course!
I was really struggling as school started around here last week. I got choked up giving box tops to a mom of a former student because I specifically wanted Wiggly's public school class to reap the benefits. (good thing I had my sun glasses on.) I tried to avoid taking Wiggly to the grocery store during the month of August lest he see all the back-to-school hype that he was no longer a part of. And in all this crazy, sometimes irrational behavior (pregnancy hormones), I wasn't at all doubting that our decision to homeschool was the wrong choice for Wiggly, but I felt like he was going to miss out on so many of the experiences of going to public school. Mostly the social aspects; recess, eating lunch with friends, the excitement of the first day, new school supplies, new teachers, school sponsored events like the Costume party for Halloween... I had officially and single-handedly eliminated him from those events he'd found so much fun in the past, and replaced it with what? Playing with/ picking on his sisters everyday and 4+ hours in our homeschool room upstairs with just his mom and sister? Great choice, Mom... A couple of times this week, Wiggly looked at the clock, asking what his friends at school were doing right then and if they were still in school at the same time he was. And I tried to put a positive spin on it. "This morning at 6:30, all of your friends were getting on the bus, and do you know what you were doing? Sleeping in." And "At 11, when your friends were eating lunch and doing school work, we were playing at the park." (their reward for good behavior at my doctor appointment) "And ALL next week, when all of your friends are in school, where are you going to be???" He smiles now. "Canada," he answers. Point made.
Canada. Had I not been pregnant this summer, my husband and I would have made the trip together as a family, but it just wasn't in the cards this year. Wiggly made his first trip to camp last year, and Wiggly LOVED it. He caught a smallmouth bass all by himself off the dock one morning and was so proud that he had contributed to dinner that night. We picked blueberries, went exploring, swimming, and he learned how to play war. (I suspect this week, he may learn how to play Eurchre. With limited electricity and no modern conveniences, we play LOTS of cards in the evenings.) I did send some books with him so he could read everyday, and I made up a science lesson plan involving the ecosystem created by a beaver dam that my mom is going to work with him on, so he is getting some schooling in while away from home. But he's learning so much more this week than what he would in a public school classroom. I mean, what would be better: watching a video in school about a beaver's habitat or actually getting out and exploring one? Point made. It's for this that makes homeschooling so awesome. Some days I just have to remind myself that he's not missing out on experiences by not being in public school; we're simply exchanging them for DIFFERENT experiences. And just because it's different doesn't make it a bad thing.
This beautiful picture was taken from http://killarneyoutfitters.com/. Love that place. I'll be sure to post pictures of Wiggly and his fish when he gets back :0)