One of the joys of homeschooling is the ability to just pick up and take off for a "day out"....we add enough basics to call it a school day, but spend it in ways that children inside a classroom would envy. All this year I've been helping a friend homeschool her two daughters in that she's a single mom who works full time. Next year they are both heading to school, and the youngest is going to finish the fourth quarter back in school to help with the transition. Today was her last day in our little academy of learning, and I wanted it to be something special in her honor.
Last night they slept over, and giggled until midnight; this morning they ate their "usual" sleepover breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, and then we packed sandwiches and headed for the park. They played on the playground, took walks along the brook (my Storm Queen was WADING in the cold water!), and soaked up the sun. I tried to do some paper work, but alas, the sunshine won out. I think I needed the clearing of the head just as much.
From there we headed to the mall, where one of the girls bought some clothes for school, Storm Queen bought a doll with an old gift card, and I and the Authoress found books (what else?)....topping off the day with blizzards and smoothies at Dairy Queen. Throughout all of this, I worked in learning oppotunities so as not to feel guilty for calling it school. We talked about pine cones and salamander eggs, water bugs and erosion, counted money and figured costs at the mall, did spelling bees and figured out area of floor tile spaces, and of course had gym.
Every now and then an inner voice told me that I was wasting a vital day of set preparation....my next three are booked, so Tuesday is the next day I have a really big of chunk to paint. However, the sacrifice was well worth the camaraderie that the girls shared, and the final memory of homeschooling that we were able to give to our part time daughter.
We leave in a few minutes for the Y where Storm Queen has a basketball class and I have to work, but after such a wonderful day I can only be grateful. There was a time when I thought that homeschoolers were just a weird lot that had kids that never learned how to make it in life......now I've come to experience the joy of learning THROUGHOUT life, and those ocassional days of NO BOOKS whatsoever. The girls were polite to all they met and spoke to, I was able to leave them in a store knowing that there would be no problems, and they were able to learn in a variety of settings while having a stupendous time of it. We are a rich lot indeed!!