Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tomorrow, It's Official

Tomorrow, all of the local school kids start public school. The neighbors already started yesterday, at a charter or private school (I'm not sure which it is).

Suddenly it all feels so real, so rebelious, so subversive.

I'm not sending my son, who is of compulsory school age, to school.

The weird part of it, here in California, is that homeschooling is basically setting up your own personal private school. The thing is, the only official form to fill out is simply a notification to the state that you already opened your school. I don't have to ask anyone, I don't need to be approved, I just let them know that it already happened. The funny thing is, I can't do that until October 1st, when the website goes online again. (They turn it off every year, so people don't file at the "wrong" time. Weird.)

Anyway, it makes me feel like we're in some sort of weird truant limbo, even though we are not. We're just like every other private school in the area. Some have more students, some are religious, they turned school into a business, etc.. But they don't have any more official paperwork than I do.

It just feels so much more real when you imagine all of the other little kids going off the school with their backpacks and lunchboxes, their crying moms waving and smiling. And my kids are sleeping in, eating breakfast together, coloring castles with me in the kitchen, and playing happily together downstairs.

It feels so real to me, because they got so very used to doing their morning lessons, then running next door to invite the girls out to play. But now their friends aren't home. And I don't even know when they will get home -- yesterday we never even saw them. Maybe they went out for dinner after school? All my kids know is that suddenly their summer playmates are gone, and their afternoon is just a little sadder and more lonely. Luckily we have park day today!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Do You Homeschool in the Summer?

Some people choose to homeschool during regular public school time, other school year-round. What do you do?

Here at Yet To Be Named Private School (in CA homeschools actually register as private schools -- however as my son is only just compulsory school age this fall, we haven't needed to file until this year. The forms are accepted in October, and I have no idea what we will name it yet!), we decided to school, well, whenever. We have no real given timeline for school.

We reserve beautiful days for going outside and playing. During rainy season, we tend to stay in more and do more school-type stuff. Last summer, we did quite a bit of work simply because it was 100 degrees every day and no one wanted to be out in that. So this year I fully expected to get a lot done this summer. We took a big break to move over the winter, and took a big break last october to go on two big trips to see family (including a funeral). We took a break for weeks while I was in the horrors of intense morning sickness. And now... we're still on a bit of a break. See, every day has been 70 degrees out. Beautiful! And we have lovely neighbors next door that the children love to play with for hours every day.

So I actually cheered this morning when it began to rain here in Silicon Valley. It never rains in August. Our rainy season is fall and winter, and it rains nearly every day for several months. Summer does not have rain at all, hence why we have all those great fires.

But rain! Today! In August! Let's have school!!