Cami and Delilah both missed the cut off for Kindergarten this year. Next year they would both make it, but Delilah would be very young, barely five years old. And she is young inside too. I like to crunch these numbers as if there is a magical formula, or as if I'm actually going to walk them up to the brick school house and then come home for a day alone. Sometimes I try that fantasy on for size. But truth be told, we have homeschooled for fifteen years now. It's not our school. It's our way of life.
Some days I wonder if I am yet qualified to take on the education of a child. And other days I marvel at how much children learn just by being with an adult who will answer their questions. I marvel at how children follow the natural rhythm and flow of a day when allowed to stay in touch with their own internal drive. And I marvel at the depth and height of the perceptions of children when they are not boxed in to a certain grade or certain curriculum. I suppose I will always wonder if it's "enough", but I will never doubt that it is good.
So, what does it really look like? At this age, homeschooling is simply being present in the moment and respecting moments of special learning opportunity when they appear.
On this morning, Cami drew two pictures after breakfast. One picture was of Jesus. She wanted to know what he looked like and I told her we really didn't know for sure, but some artists had tried their best to draw him. She decided she would draw Jesus too. And he looked very much like a hip hop star. Who's to say?
Cami also drew her vision of the universe. In my humble opinion, just the fact that she can understand and think about planets and stars up in the sky and then put that vision on paper is nothing short of amazing. Abstract thinking is a strength for her.
While Cami was drawing, Delilah was watching her. Delilah doesn't care much for drawing yet, unless you count markers drawning designs on her skin. So.......
Delilah ate Jelly Beans! And she learned about sharing.
The rest of the day was punctuated by puzzles and books. Delilah loves the wooden puzzle of the world and Cami enjoys the United States puzzle. Both are challenging for me and I'm surprised at how much they are able to do on their own. They are beginning to understand where they fit in physically in the world. Our state is part of the US which is part of the earth. We talk about China and also Australia because Lauren is headed there.
The afternoon was spent constructing a fort of chairs and a sheet and choosing some things to bring into this sacred spot. After dinner, both girls were content to pretend the fort was our igloo and they listened actively to the Usbourne Book of Greek Myths for Young Children, a book I thought would be too old for them. Again they surprise me. They were hungry for more stories of Hercules and Eurystheus, long after my voice was tired. Again I am amazed at their ability to follow stories of a time and place so far removed from their life.
Each day is special. Some days we struggle with just the simplest of interactions, keeping everyone in a peaceful place, reconciling differences, and fighting demons I cannot see and they cannot remember. But other days, the sky clears and I see our life with different eyes and I am pleased. It is enough. We are doing great together. The journey is only beginning.