Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Not Back to School

I am writing this post particularly for the Carnival of Unschooling Life which has the theme of Not Back to School this month. The thing that hit me when I thought about the theme is that we don't even really note the "back to school" time in our household anymore.

I do remember though, back when my now 21 yo was a five year old, and when she didn't go to a first day of kindergarten. I definitely noticed all the buses that year on the first day. All the children lined up in stiff new clothes that looked too warm for the weather and brandnew backpacks filled with school supplies. Of course, in a week, they all look pretty much as worn as the ones from the end of the previous year, but that day, I could nearly smell the freshly sharpened pencils as I watched through my front curtains.

Emma was up and writing something on a piece of paper and seeming quite content. I was content too, but maybe there was a part of me that was wistful for the idealized version of school that many seem to fall victim too.

Fast forward sixteen years. My four still at home kids now 11, 13, 15, and 17 don't pay any attention to the first day of school. I don't even know when it is! We do occasionally take advantage of back to school sales; you can't beat 25 cents for a box of 24 Crayola crayons or 500 sheets of lined paper for a dime. Since these sales seem to start right after the Fourth of July in our neck of the woods, they don't really correspond to school starting.

We just live our lives. School is something other people do for reasons that we often find hard to fathom. I wouldn't have it any other way.


Rana said...

I found myself looking out the window last year at the buses going by too. We are you now 17 years ago. We were kindergartners then, now we are unschoolers this year. I enjoy getting the supplies a bit cheaper and I enjoy not having to buy back to school clothes. We get them as we need them. Right now we are just looking forward to the Fall season and winding down with summer.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

I am striving to become that way but find myself still making lesson plans and "organizing" our learning... I don't know that I can ever trust myself to just let go and let them learn at their own wills, but it's an interesting thought to consider...

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Of course, my daughter just walked in, told me that 2+2=4 and 5+6=Lillian.... Maybe a LITTLE bit of formal instruction is necessary!