6 September 2011

"First Day"

Today's the first day back at school around here. That would have made it, in another life, Jenna's first day in the big school, and Morgan's first day of infants.
Instead, we woke up on our living room floor after an adventurous (stormy) night of camping, the tent leaking, and so on. This picture was taken just before I got up at half past six in the morning.
We had porridge and green smoothie, before circle time (interrupted by the builders knocking at the door) and a blustery walk...
To soft play for the day, in order to stay out from under the contractors' feet while they took our house to pieces.
Thankfully they got everything done, and the house can now gradually return to normal (but with hot water on demand!) albeit with large new patches of peeling wallpaper in the living room. I suppose that clinches the deal as far as me wanting to redecorate goes!
For us, the schools going back means everything and nothing. Mostly, it means that all our favourite places are going to be nice and empty again. :) For me personally, it has given me the impetus to leap back into some of the daily rituals and rhythms that enrich our lives so much.
For Jenna, it means she has insisted on another folder of handwriting sheets (I think knowing they are there feels like a safety net for her, although she doesn't really use them), and she continues to have all the time in the world for climbing and creativity and just being free to persue her interests. For Morgan, it means that life goes on in its usual sweet way. I am SO grateful that she doesn't have to start school this year (or, really, any year). She is one child I can say is just NOT ready for any kind of academics. And that's just fine. :)
Home educating is, well, it's treating us wonderfully. The afternoon energy dip is hard for me: without a break from being around other people. We each have things we need to work on this year, and the usual parcel of self-doubt (well, I have that anyway). But I can't sum up all that it means to us to be together and able to live out what is most important to us. Here's to another crazy joyful messy wonderful frustrating exciting ordinary year. :)


  1. We are planning on sending Ingrid to the local Montessori after much thinking. But she didn't get in this year and I have actually been really happy about it! We have been enjoying the lack of summer camps people at the parks and children's museum :) And we are off to go camping last minute without worrying about school days! There are definitely lots of pros of no school this year!

  2. i have just found your blog and enjoying reading your posts. I am not a home schooling mumma but would be if my boys were not fortunate to have a school of 20 kids, 4 doors away. But still, on the eve of school re-starting i am sitting here wishing i didn't have to take them and knowing i will miss them deeply tomorrow! I look forward to seeing what this year brings you! X

  3. Happy not back to school guys, it is good to be able to follow your own rythems and flow:)

  4. Aw Pip, I sometimes long for a bit of space from them but I know I'd miss them if they were gone all day! (I'm so glad you commented today because I'm feeling a little bit cynical about a couple of "glad to be rid of them" comments other friends have made about the start of term and you just redressed the balance a little more.)

    Jessica, happy Not Back to School yourselves. :) Wishing you much fascinating and exciting exploration as your weather turns towards Summer!

    Amber: with Jenna it was really so much a style/personality thing, and I saw what was working so well for her. She was pretty School-ready at four. When people said, "won't she be missing out?" I always thought, well, maybe, nah, she's fine, we're so happy!

    I feel so protective of Morgan this year though. It would be crazy to put her in a normal school right now, she is just not at all physically ready for any kind of academics. We don't even have the options of Montessori or Waldorf that *would* work for her. When people ask if she's missing out I look at them like they're missing a head. She draws potato people, scribbles, can't trace over a line to save her life, talks toddler talk, and struggles to follow instructions. At home, she's fine, growing and learning. At school, she'd need constant classroom support, and the wheels would be in motion to write ASD on her files.

    She's nearly six months older than Jenna would have been on her first day too!

  5. Lovely post mama. Well put.
    This morning we are cosied inside - Phoebe is playing Peep in the big wide world on the laptop, Ezra is playing with Lego (mainly taking the little men apart and putting them together again) and I am Reading your blog and having a late breakfast. I feel so blessed to live this life. I am sure Phoebe would be labelled some way in school too - if I could even persuade her to go! She would be the one crying and angry all morning for sure. I'm so glad to be home with her. :)

  6. Think blogger just ate my post! Wanted to say well put mama! xx

  7. Arwen, that's very sweet. glad I have balanced it out a bit! I have found myself biting my lip a lot at the end of the school holidays as everyone seemed to be on a count down.... no one said parenting is easy but we all made the choice to do it and I can not think of 2 people I would rather spend time with, than my 2 boys! xx

  8. How beautiful! I know just what you mean. (Glowing with pride from a very late night at a theatre production with Jenna last night!)


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