I have been getting together with a select few other home ed families over the past month or so. We are trying to meet in parks, but houses will do when it rains. (Not my house yet , though. It is pretty disgusting.) Today we had another great day at the park! The Babe is getting to run around, climb trees, annoy other families, make friends, and even eat the occasional lolly, which is the the best thing about being the youngest in a family where the older kids were all toddlers together. I NEVER bought anything from the ice cream vans, because it was simply too much money.
It is nice watching the kids get to know each other. They all seem to be coming out of their shells, or just plain getting used to all the new people. It is nice to know that we are actually watching them make life long friends, and that the years to come with be full of adventures, camping holidays, sleepovers, and all sorts of things.
The best thing for me though, is that I am beginning to feel like a home educator again. I am remembering all of the reasons we opted for autonomous education in the first place. I am beginning to remember the freedom and sheer joy that filled our days. It has taken me longer than with the other kids to come out of my baby bubble this time, but I think there were one or two other factors. I have also been spring cleaning a bit and have found my old John Holt books. I am reading Jonathon Kozol at the moment, and looking forward to revisiting some old favourites.
Here is the complete archives of the Growing Without Schooling magazine, which I really miss these days...along with Woolworth's. It is a shame that our local group is more about accessing workshops and doing activities than it is about thinking about the nature of education. I suppose a lot of us have just been doing it for so long that we don't feel the need to talk about it all the time. (Although that need is back for me.) But that is a shame for all the newbies. I just want to shout at them, "Go read John Holt, John Talyor Gatto, Jonathon Kozol, Ivan Illich, so many more! Question EVERYTHING about this society that thinks children need to be herded but not heard, raised but not raised up, and taught NOTHING about what it means to be a human being!
So I am feeling a bit like the old (younger) me. And here is to more picnics in the park!