Saturday, September 6, 2014

Goodbye Lunchboxes and Homework

On our third day of homeschooling I dyed Ella's hair blue.


If you had told me a year ago that I would be writing that sentence I would have thought you had just hopped off the crazy train.  Or maybe I'm the one on the crazy train??

Ella's been asking begging for me to let her dye her hair blue for almost a year.  When she first asked I surprised her one day after school with a bottle of Halloween blue hair gel.  I thought she'd be thrilled.  Rather she cried, "I wanted permanent hair dye!"  Over the months she's used up that bottle of gel and frankly, it looked pretty bad.  It was goopy and messy.  After months of washing blue pillow cases and realizing her commitment I finally relented.  She couldn't be happier.

And it was a nice break from our first week of homeschooling as a family.  While we had a lot of fun and are all really happy with our decision so far, I'm not going to lie.  It's a lot of work.  For them.  For me.  And my patience with Holden's short attention span and lack of focus is being tested.  It was a lot easier the previous two weeks when it was just Holden and me.  He got my full, 100% undivided attention.  We were done by lunchtime every day.  But now that I need to give Ella at least a little of my time (she's much better at working independently, but I still need to work with her on certain things), it's getting a little more challenging.  But I'm confident we'll find our groove.

Things I love so far about homeschooling:

- Recess in Central Park, lunch in the secret garden a couple blocks away.  No more packing lunches!

- Getting a dentist appointment with a day's notice in the middle of the school day.


- No homework.  We've got our evenings back to play, read and relax, instead of worksheets, stress and tears.

- Chemistry experiments in the back yard.


- "Classes" in the coffee shop around the corner that serves Blue Bottle coffee.

- A really great curriculum that is keeping the kids really engaged and challenged.

When we walked past a school playground filled with kids one day at lunchtime I asked the kids if they missed school.  A resounding no.  They started to pepper me with even more examples of things they hated about school, things I hadn't even heard yet.  Ella said that she is really happy to be able to go at her own pace now, to not have to put away her books when she still has questions or sit around bored when she understands something but the rest of the class doesn't.  Holden says he's happy that he can stand up while he works, talk during lunch, and sit on his teacher's lap while she reads from the history book.

Week 1: So far, so good.

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