As quiet homeschoolers, we're often doing our own thing. We love the peaceful space we've carved out. We thrive in it – all of us. Last week actually cancelled plans with our homeschooling coop two days in a row (two very fun activities – ice skating at the outdoor rink and a hike into the woods to see ice caves) because we'd had a trying week and just needed to lay low. The kids reported that those unexpected free-days were the best part of the week. Who'd have thought?
Sage does not thrive in large groups. He loves hanging with other kids, but prefers them one family at a time. (Even his birthday parties rarely consist of more than one friend.) My kids play with friends each week, but don't crave the busyness that many children are accustom to. After watching a school group walk by us on an outing one day he reported that sharing his learning space with so many children would be "horribly distracting".
So this is how we roll. It's a good match for us.
But we are hardly going it alone.
Yesterday we enjoyed a full day with another unschooling family. The three younger children wore every costume in the closet and had a picnic out in the snow while the two older kids did dozens of chemistry experiments and started working on a robot. It was wonderful to watch all of them. Learning, playing, exploring, socializing. And being with another like-minded mama means we could be there to answer their questions without meddling in their process and without second-guessing our own.
There is another family we visit with often who's children enjoy spending a day with us on occasion. Our kids are embarking on a Waldorf doll-making adventure together. Each child (ages 5 – 10) is making a doll by hand, week by week around our table. They chose their skin and hair fabric, cut out their dolls, pinned, and have now begun the sewing.
I love this so much.
To have my children with other kids who "get them"; to share what I know with my own children and our friends; and to have them share their day with this family we love. Yes, our unexpected quiet days are among our favorites, but really, these days with good friends are the ones we all love best.
P.S. Homeschooling friends, you likely know well the perpetual dialogue about socialization. I thought you would enjoy this article about it. It's fabulous and goes right to the heart of what I have seen. Don't be put off at first. She throws down some surprising statements, but follow her for a bit and I think most of you will agree.