Our area is going back to school in the morning. Christopher took our children on an outing to Target this evening and found it brimming with parents and kids readying themselves for a new adventure tomorrow.
Batman Binders. Pointy pencils. Barbie backpacks. Clean clothes.
The stuff all 8 year olds dream about in the final hours of summer. Well, all 8 year olds except mine.
I mentioned that Christopher was at Target this evening, but it wasn't to stock up on lined paper and erasers. He just happened to pick tonight as a Daddy Date with six of his kiddos. While I watch the feed on my facebook bustle with excitement over teacher assignments, kindergarten apprehensions and bedtime rituals our family is purring along softly, contentedly and most definitely not anticipating anything extraordinary occurring on the morrow. Well, that isn't entirely true. Perhaps Evangeline will sleep through the night and my kids will awaken to a mama who is bright eyed and bushy tailed as opposed to the sleep-depraved - err deprived - animal I have become. But that's another story for another blog.
No, there ins't anything exceptional about our August 8th because we homeschool. That means school never really starts because, honestly, it just never really ends. Sure, we start new curriculum. But it eases into our lives like melting butter. Our year is organized around weather, social activities and vacations that make use of off-season dates. We are just as likely to be hitting books during a mid-quarter break for the public schools as we are to be enjoying the sunshine in the middle of the week in September. Yep, we take it easy.
I like this way of life. I like the way it feels - the way it fits. I enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes from owning every part of my family's schedule. I especially appreciate the gentle hum of daily activities going uninterrupted even though someone somewhere decided the beginning of August was a fine time to start school. I mean really... August?
I love the reminder that Back To School gives me. It reminds me that I am not missing out on any of my children's milestones. I am not sharing my children's attention or affection during those early years when their minds are so easily molded. I don't combat playground bullying, teacher incompatibility or conflicting schedules. I get the immense pleasure of teaching my children. I am the one rewarded with their incredible gift for learning.
Homeschooling may not be for everyone, but it is definitely for this mama and her family. So, tomorrow when my neighbors and friends hustle their bleary-eyed children off to school I will be tucked in my pajamas, nursing Evangeline, and listening to the soft breathing of 7 sleeping children. We will get up when it suits us. We might watch some Olympics during our breakfast. Play clothes will be donned in time for some afternoon sunshine in the backyard. Perhaps we'll read a new book from the library. Perhaps we'll read two. I don't really know. I'll just wait for August 8th to see what it brings.