Pat the real Hamster in a Littlest Pet Shop creation.
Oh, a quiet morning – just like the old days – and a few minutes to finish writing. I love it! Here’s the top five things I really miss about home school. You can see part one, with the other five things here.
5. No crowds.
Now that I am forced to do things “when school is over”, I envy those of you who  can go out with your kid when no one else is there. You know, daytime. No other kids, no lines, no crowds – the world is your oyster and you don’t have to wait in line to eat it! It made traveling, museums, shopping all such a breeze. Savor it because after 3pm or on the weekend, it’s ugly out there.
4. Having breakfast together.
We did this a lot – I’d pack up her stuff, we’d get a huge booth at one of our local diners and we’d eat, talk and do school work. One of our best lessons was at a Denny’s, with Littlest Pet Shop in tow and I talked about cooperatives – using different Pet Shop toys as creatives, manufacturers, distributors and buyers! Now we shove cereal in our mouths as I rush to make lunch and she packs her backpack!
3. Creating “learning”.
Okay, so it’s kind of an ego boost to come up with a good lesson. And I enjoyed being “clever” – figuring out cool ways to bring ideas to life so Katie could learn things in a new way. I felt so good about it, I even blogged some of the ideas. And I miss that feeling of accomplishment.
Sure I love what I do for work, but this was different. I got to tap my experiences, passions and current events and bring is all together in a way that I hoped would delight and teach my child. Now that she’s back at public school, I am seeing the rewards of my labor and I feel pretty darn good about it.
2. Self-reliance.
Katie is an only child. She’s also an extrovert. Which means she gets energized when there are people around. In fact, she finally started doing a good job cleaning her room when she could have the noise of Hannah Montana on (via iPad and Netflix streaming because she’s not allowed to have a TV in her room). So being home schooled meant she had a lot of time on her own; alone.
At first it was really hard. She was so lonely. But over time, she finally got in a groove and used the quiet time for some amazing creative play (this has always been her strong suit anyway). She created an elaborate cardboard car, including an ignition and a way to wear it around the house. I know it doesn’t sound like much but the scale and detail were spot-on!
I feel like she gained really great coping skills being on her own and they made the summer a dream. I can also see her tapping those skills now as a way to give herself a break from the chaos of middle school.
1. Watching her learn.
Many times during home school, I felt like a voyeur. When your child is “at school” you don’t get to see those “a ha!” moments. The teacher does. And if you are lucky, the will come home and tell you about it. But with home school, you are right there. Part of the mix. It was delicious.
So many times when we were doing a project or on a field trip, I could see Katie putting things together. She’d ask great questions and many times it was while we were driving or in-between things – clearly while her brain had the interstitial time to process. I worry a little that at middle school, with all the changing classes, books, teachers and more, her brain won’t have that kind of time. But I am sure it does, it just will happen later in the day (and I will have to make sure she has a little quiet time for things to actually bake).
I have a half written blog about what I am liking about middle school. There is a lot to like. But this month, I am also going to grieve a little for what we had last year. It was great. Really great. I will treasure it forever.