I’m tired. Not so much physically tired, because I’ve had a nice long nap snuggled up with sambear since the 31 folks cleared out of the house (okay, 30, we kept a spare kid for the night). sambear described most of the day already so I won’t go over what he wrote. And it’s a good tired, overall, because everything did go really well. But I really am an introvert, and being around lots of people who aren’t “mine” really does drain me.
I enjoyed it, loved meeting some new folks, getting to know others better, and seeing some old friends we just don’t see nearly often enough. I missed a few people who didn’t make it, but hopefully, they’ll come next time. There were four babies/toddlers crawling around on the floor during the afternoon and it was just wonderful to see them at their varied ages. Between Jackson last night and Jacob, Brendan, Maddie, and Diana today, I’ve definitely had a lovely baby fix.
Our three kids and our borrowed boy (one of my favorite kids who isn’t ours all the time) are now amusing themselves downstairs and being so quiet we had to go down to see just what they’re up to—gaming, of course. Rowan is running a D&D game for the other three. Not the first time, but he’s put a lot of work into this campaign in particular. sambear is walking around beaming and so proud I think he’s about to bust.
In one of those synchronicity things, three different people in the last 24 hours have sat in my living room and said they’d like to homeschool but don’t feel that they can. “I’m not smart enough,” or “I have a special-needs child,” or “I just wouldn’t know how to do it.” I’m more convinced that we need to start buying copies of John Taylor Gatto’s book Dumbing Us Down in bulk because we only had one and loaned it out to the first friend who said something along those lines. Many of the essays in the book are available in various places on the web, but the book is a nice, portable form.
I truly think that anyone who loves their child, is a committed, responsible parent, is literate enough to read a newspaper, and knows enough math to balance a checkbook can homeschool their children. And around Atlanta, at least, there is such an incredible support network that it’s very easy to find tutors or classes or other resources to help teach any subject which you don’t feel fully qualified to teach. Just the resources available in most public libraries are marvelous. There are also full curriculums you can buy, schools you can enroll in at a distance with full support from certified teachers, and more free material on the internet than anybody could possibly go through.
Yes, you do need to be honest about what you do and don’t know—and most homeschoolers I know of find themselves learning a great deal alongside their children. But you love and care about your child more than anyone else does. You taught her how to talk, walk, use the potty, tie her shoes, sing her ABCs, eat an ice cream cone, pet the kitty, ride a bike—why question your ability to teach her to read, to add, to think rationally, to explore her world using the scientific method?
And that doesn’t even consider the friends and family factor. If Katie gets to math I cannot teach her, I won’t hesitate to ask for help from friends who are math geeks. I love the fact that a friend who has an absolute passion for history has long conversations with her and helps to bring what she’s read in books alive, fleshing it out and leading her to look beyond the texts for the people and their stories. His wife is a painter and sculptor and has given Katie some art lessons—a marvelous thing since I can’t even draw recognizable stick figures, and something she would not have had time for if she were in public school. Those are just two of many examples.
At least, none of our friends brought up the “S” word as a real concern. They can look at my daughter and other homeschooled children and see that they obviously are not poorly socialized and are, in fact, pretty neat people with excellent social skills.
I didn’t really mean to get into all that. I need to go finish cleaning my kitchen. I’m really enjoying the nice, quiet peacefulness of the house right now.