Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Saturday, November 23, 2013


"Wouldn't it be great if I could spend two nights with you, Sam?"

"Yah, that would be amazing. Wasn't it funny when we slept in each others sleeping bags?"

"Yah. That was my favorite part. Will you should me again how to do that?"

These are the words I heard from two small children in the room next to me as I read my book, Homeschooling: A Patchwork of Days,.(Two children who are now doing each others make up to get ready to put on a show for me before we give the dog a bath....or bake. They haven't decided which yet.) God has sent us an amazing family to become friends with. A family quite different from ours, but so very much alike in many ways. The Weaver Family. A homeschooling family with 6 kids. Age wise, yes, they are older, doesn't seem to uncommon for us. They have lived more, traveled more, and were together a long time before having kids. But we can relate together, laugh together, and learn from each other.

Sam made friends with Rachel at the picnic this September. And then Suzette, being as outgoing as she is, scheduled a playdate the next week. And joined gymnastics...They have been inseparable ever since. They have so much in common, personalitywise. They are both tenderhearted, timid, agreeable little girls. No arguing here. All I heard all day was, "I'll help you clean." Or "We can play whatever YOU want." "No. It's okay. Whatever YOU want." Etc. Etc. Interestwise, they both love gymnastics and art. And they just...relate.

Anyway, my Husband met Mike, Suzette's Husband, at the CHEA Thanksgiving Feast last Thursday. They hit it off. We have grown close very fast. We do movie night at their house now from time to time. We go to special events together and the girls even spent part of the last holiday-Halloween there. I'm so glad we found "couple friends" that we have a lot in common with who have kids Sam can play with and really enjoys playing with. It has been such a Blessing to find such a support system and be a support system for somebody else. (They just moved to the area.)

On another note, this week has been a busy week with CHEA. We attended two big events this week, Audubon Acres and the CHEA Thanksgiving Feast.

Audubon Acres was an awesome experience. They always have something going on, including a bunch of home school classes. This week they had Pioneer Days. A bunch of volunteer families got together and "acted out" life in the Pioneer Days. They talked about the games of that time. And since each center had hands on activity, the kids got to play the games if they wanted. One area showed how they cooked. And the kids got to taste corn cakes. Yummy! We toured a cabin. Washed laundry the way they used to. Sharpened an axe. Dyed cloth with coffee and talked about other natural dyes the Pioneers used. They shucked corn. And tried cider. It was a great day. Sam got to play with her friend, Julia. And at the end we met to collaborate on the Christmas party. Afterward we went home. Sam was so cold she wanted to take a warm bath and play with her toys. Nap time followed for us. It was such a productive, memorable, fun day.

The next day was the Thanksgiving Feast. It was held at night to give the Dads the opportunity to be there too if they work during the day. Jessie, to be honest, was very skeptical. (I have drug him to one too many formal events for my speeches and he was afraid he would feel inferior at this "formal dinner.") But in fact, it was not formal at all. (I tried to tell them that.) It was just a bunch of different families from all backgrounds with all different lifestyles sitting together, eating, and laughing. Jessie felt more laid back after a few of the Dads came up and talked to him. And Sam ran off as soon as Rachel arrived. She ended up sitting at a table with them. (They have a big family so they needed their own table.) I watched her joke and play from the other side of the room. It was bitter sweet. I didn't mind giving her that time though. She deserved it. She was having fun. And I have her all day. I helped with set up and clean up, talked to other Moms I hadn't seen since the picnic, and got together with some others to discuss the Christmas party progress. It was a great night. As usual, it was a very welcoming environment. The food was great. (Potluck) And we got to know others better. We are always the last to leave an event. And we stayed after with another family (the Weavers) for an hour talking in the parking lot. That's when my Husband got to know Mike better. And the kids played in the area while Suzette and I talked about holiday lesson plans. (Also a fun one.) We left, and my Husband said he now knew that relaxed, warm feeling that I always feel after get togethers. This group has been such a Blessing to us.

We dove head first into home school this year, leaving the preschool days as mere memories. I didn't think much would change for us, since we are doing things the way we always have, but they did. It's a whole new chapter with all new people and things to do. I can't believe those days are gone. The days of PAT. The days of no obligation to the school system. The days of not being super busy. This season has brought new friends, new places, new views on life, and a deeper understanding of some things.

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