Every day learning

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So we’ve had a week of homeschooling – how’s it been?

Just lovely. Really.

I know it’s going to take some time to get used to. I know that for a while at least, we’re going to feel like it’s still the summer holidays and not that this is permanent. But right now I feel a bit like I do when I remember I work for myself and I don’t have to go to an office anymore. I feel free.

But, yes, I know, it’s not entirely about me. How does Harry feel? During the summer holidays, whenever I mentioned going back to school he said he wasn’t going. I suggested that he at least try Year 4, maybe for 6 weeks? And he said, “Nope. That’s not happening.” I didn’t blame him. It was just me trying to delay the decision really, because how is leaving six weeks into a new year any easier/better than just not going back at all?

By the end of the holidays, I was convinced that staying home was the right decision, but David was still wavering. So we sat down and talked about it. And I managed to convince him that since me and Harry were all for it, he should really get on board. (Also, I used the ‘If it doesn’t work out, he can go back any time…’ argument. I was talking to a friend at the weekend – hi, Alison! – and she said I mentioned it a couple times, that he could go back if it didn’t work out. And that’s because it’s a big thing for me. It seems like a huge decision – and it is – but it’s not an irreversible one and that’s comforting.)

The next morning, I told Harry that Daddy had agreed he didn’t have to go back to school and he said, “That’s what I’ve been hoping for.” Which made me cry a little bit, obviously. I said, “What should we call it, do you think?” I’d been thinking that I didn’t want to call it ‘homeschooling’ since it really has nothing to do with school. Harry said, “How about… every day learning.” Which is perfect, of course.

There’s so much I want to say about all of this – so much that I’ve been lying awake at night composing blog posts in my head – but I’ll just leave it there for now. Except for a couple of paragraphs I read in a recent blog post by Penelope Trunk (who homeschools her two sons) that made me shout, “Yes!” and bounce in my seat with excitement:

I confess that I love seeing how excited I can make them with the world around them. I loved their mouths hanging open. I loved their smiles and seeing them jump in their seats. I want their whole lives to be like that. Every day. I want to teach them how to make that for themselves.

In the meantime, they give that to me. At least once a day. And I think that is really why I’m keeping them out of school. So we can all have more joy, each day, together.

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