Memorial Day Memories

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.

Cur­rent Mood: 🙂peace­ful
Cur­rent Music: Sam drumming
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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