Thursday, July 3, 2014

End of the School Year?

Someone asked me a couple of days ago how we celebrate the end of the school year in our family.  I was somewhat taken aback by the question and gave a flustered sort of non-answer.  Later, I thought about what it was that caught me off guard and I realized that I have truly changed over the past year.  Whereas last spring we did mark the end of our school year (and our entrance into unschooling), this year the subject matter hasn't even come up - even in my mind, and even though I just submitted the June h/schooling report to our government rep.  We've talked about the kids' (schooled) friends and cousins starting their break now, but not at all about the fact that maybe we just finished school for the year, too.

For my kids, other than the ending of the last couple of extra curricular activities, not much has changed from last week to this.

This week I'll take the kids on a nature walk; we're going to sort food at our new food group and begin to build a new little community there; we'll go swimming; I'm working with Lizzie on her reading because she's determined now that she's "not too little;" we'll do some painting together and maybe practice mixing colours again to see what we end up with; I'll practice numbers with Seth most days because he so badly wants to get rid of those oh-so-frustrating memory gaps that make it still so impossible, after three years, to read the numbers 12 and 20; I'll continue to read out loud as I did yesterday morning and last week and last month; I'll work with Matthew at the computer, inputting a story that he is creating to follow up on the one he wrote with his cousin earlier this week; we're having extended conversations this week about things like book publishing and selling, reproduction, cancer, what it means to be a follower vs a leader, about home renovations and water damage from toilets and rain and how houses are built; we're planning birthday celebrations for four of the five of us in the coming month; we're getting together with family and friends; I'm researching a little about weather systems in answer to Matthew's and Seth's questions this morning; and on and on.

Maybe that's one of the things about unschooling that's both fabulous and a little tough.  It's great, I think, that our perspective has shifted very definitely to one of learning wherever and whenever, regardless of the season of year, and taking time out for fun or vacations whenever we want; but just sometimes I miss the structure of those end-of-the-school-year moments when you just know that now you can throw your books up into the air because it's summer vacation and you have no cares in the world for the next two months!

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