Yes, we hit the books again this week but it's also been a week filled with fun field trips and awesome classes. And yet somehow whenever I speak with other homeschool parents it seems we are doing way more schoolwork than any other homeschoolers in the area. Many of them rely on the classes offered at the museums and homeschool spaces as their only curriculum, rather than as a supplement. And a few that I have met do a complete curriculum at home and just add one or two more outside classes onto their week. But as you know, I am nothing if not overscheduled so our weeks are filled with math, science, spelling, history, geography - you name it - at home/on the subway/at the library, in addition to many (too many?) weekly classes and trips. I know we should cut back but there always seems to be a fieldtrip or class offered that is just too good to pass up.
Case in point, this week the kids joined a homeschool fieldtrip to the Brooklyn Children's Museum. We hadn't been there yet and it was a bit of a haul to get there (about an hour on the subway) but it was worth it. It's a gorgeous, enormous museum that reminded me a lot of the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito back home. It's a hands-on science/history museum with lots of play spaces. A homeschool mom arranged for our group to get a Junior Geologist class with an instructor for an hour. Then after exploring the museum on our own for another couple hours we all regrouped for lunch. Ella made a sweet friend and the kids really loved the museum. We even got a bit of a cultural lesson as we made our way out of the museum and to the subway station. The museum is located in Crown Heights in Brooklyn, a neighborhood that is home to many Hasidic Jews. It felt like we were walking through Jerusalem (I believe it was a Jewish holiday). So the kids and I spent a lot of time talking about what little I know of Judaism.
And you're not going to believe their day today. It's a beautiful Friday and I just dropped the kids off at El Museo del Barrio, a Latino cultural museum. They will tour the museum with their Spanish tutor and do some "fun cultural activities". I was a little jealous since I haven't been to the museum before but decided it didn't make sense to stay with them since they'd be speaking Spanish the whole time. I told the kids they'd have to bring me and Dad back with them to show us around.
I'll pick up the kids after their history class at the New York Historical Society and then we'll make our way through the park yet again for a new class they're starting tonight. This one I can hardly believe - they'll be taking a 9-week course for children called Stories and Glories: World Mythology at the Met. I swear, these kids don't know how good they have it. And the best part is that the class is from 5:30 - 7pm every Friday so Kevin and I have a 9-week standing date night at The Met's rooftop martini bar.
Holden said to me this morning that the best part of homeschooling is "so many vacations". When I asked him what he meant by that he said, "Like today, no school." He thinks visiting 3 world-class museums in one day, being taught by experts in their fields (and speaking Spanish for 3 hours) is no school. I love that.
It's like I just hid their medicine in a spoonful of honey.