I want to jot a few things down.*
Awhile back I decided to shift to a much looser style of schooling; enough of a change that we ended up getting labeled as unschoolers at one point. I still don’t think it was quite enough to merit that name, but I had definitely lightened the load on my kids and was holding my breath to see what might happen.
Three days ago I went in to say goodnight to my twelve-year-old daughter. She was sitting up in bed, alert and attentive, ready to Talk. Like, Big Talk.
“So, you know how you asked us a few days ago if there was anything we’d change up in school? I’m thinking I really want to do Seterra again. I’m not very good at geography and I really need the practice. Also, I want to start another typing program, because I’m really slow.”
I tried not to let my mouth hang open in shock as she rattled off a handful of other ideas. Um, yes….of course, you can add all those things to your school.
Here’s the really funny part.
The next morning, older brother walks by and sees her on the computer. “Whatcha doin’?”
Now, this is the kid who used to curl up with our Rand McNally Road Atlas for leisure reading when he was seven, so the “fun!” didn’t really surprise me. But later that morning, he asked me, “Hey–can I play on Seterra?”
And so it goes.
The fourteen-year-old, still crawling out from the black abyss that is depression, has been spending his time writing, planning, and finally recording a podcast with his dad. He’s diving into editing this thing while still creating plans for the next three they want to do–and sister has been invited as a guest host for one. He’s actually attending a creative writing class led by another homeschool mom; he went twice (our agreed definition of “trying it out”) and decided he wanted to stay.
Oh, and the US map I bought, thinking it would be fun to mark where the cousins live, now that my sister and her family are back in the States. Which quickly morphed into, “Let’s mark all the places we’ve been!,” an event that was so turbo-charged I couldn’t even get any good photos. Then my son asked to play a game of Scrambled States of America, “to celebrate the new map.” The next step was him mapping out his dream roller coaster road trip, drawing lines all over the eastern half of the states, hitting all the parks I’ve never heard of.
Yes, we’re still doing some “real” school in here, too. But right now this is a pretty fun ride.
*I wrote this post back in January, when the bigs were still 14- and 12-years old. I stumbled across it today, thankful for the reminder and grateful that I took the time to write this note to myself. Because I DID forget.