It's been awhile, a long while. This evening, in an email to a friend, I mentioned homeschool and this blog. Then I came to the blog and poked around a bit. It seemed so unfinished. As if we'd all just vanished. Poof.
That's not true - we're still here, alive and kicking. And I felt I wanted a little closure and that the blog needed it. So here's the final post and a short history of our past two years. I'll try to keep it short.
The main news is that we are no longer homeschooling. We did a third year after moving to our new home and what we did that year was amazing. Trickster tales, and Jakata and Tibetan Buddhism, and multiplication and division and natural science and art. It was a grand year. We even put on a fabulous play with the homeschooling group in town and it was wonderful. But I didn't blog about any of it. I found that being in a new house, which sustained lots of damage in a flood about a month after we moved in, and chasing my EXTREMELY active 3 year-old combined with the loss of my best homeschooling blogger buddy (she moved away - sniff) and the loss of most of my part-time income that the blog fell to the wayside. But it was a glorious homeschool year. I'd like to promise to put everything up but it's a promise I know I won't keep.
At the end of that year we got word of an amazing new charter school that was planning to open. It's a school designed by the teachers and sounded a lot like homeschooling - only in a school setting (sadly, though, it's not Waldorf). Nightowl was keen to check it out so we put her name in the hat. She got in, tried it, loved it starting day one. The switch for her was pretty easy - the open class rooms, the child led learning, no grades, the focus on art - it was all very familiar. The switch was harder for me as it felt a bit like I'd been fired from my job. Sigh. But truth be told it's a wonderful school and I'm so grateful that it opened here, mere blocks from the fabulous money pit we call home.
So where are we now? Bearcub is 5-years-old and enrolled for fall and will be starting kindergarten at the aforementioned charter school. She is big and busy - quite the amazon at nearly 48 inches and 75 pounds. She's ridiculously coordinated and has a fierce right hook. She's a natural athlete and is gearing up for all the athletics that become available at age 5 - soccer, swim team, hockey. Heaven help us. Nightowl is now 10. She had no problem transitioning to school and is doing quite well - there are no grades so I can't give you a number but trust me when I say she is thriving and completing tasks far above grade level. She is still quite devoted to violin and has begun master classes and group/quartet playing. Her love of chickens prevails and this summer we finally put up a coop and ordered chicks (they are brooding in our basement right now). She is over the moon and has plans for joining 4H next year.
And me? I miss schooling. I loved teaching and love my kids. But I also love the charter school and am so grateful for what my girls are getting. True we gave up a few things but what we are getting is so much more. Of course, should we need to, I can return to homeschooling them – Nightowl has already said that she plans to homeschool for high school – we'll see. In the meantime I'm trying to work more (no easy task in this horrible economy) and working to turn my little urban lot into a smallish farm. I keep busy.
Thanks to everyone who ever read my blog - for your support and posts. I won't be removing the blog because maybe someone will find our early lessons useful. If you're considering homeschooling let me tell you this: you can do it. It's much easier than you think and much harder than you think. But you can do it. And it will be grand.
Peace ~ Aleisha