Monday, January 24, 2011

Social Network

Homeschooling is easier with a good social network.  There are times when you as a parent have to do something and don't want to bring your children, armed with a bag of schoolwork, along.  This may be okay for a general doctor’s visit, but I certainly don’t want to tote them to my yearly mammogram appointment.  I try to schedule as much as I can for Saturdays, when Greg is around to help me.  But since his commute keeps him away until long after normal business hours, sometimes a Mom needs help!
I am so grateful for my network of friends.  People may be scornful of a early morning playdate because after all....aren’t most children in school working away at 9:00 on a Monday morning?  Yes they are.  But  amazing things happen during these “playdates”.    My children have explored creeks, made ice sculptures from the huge hunks they dragged up from the creek.  Since we don’t have a creek in our yard, this exploration of a new ecosystem is learning for them.  At another friend’s house they have curled up on a cozy couch and read - together -with their friends.  I love love love hearing that Grace and her friend read together.  It was so unexpected, my child who so rarely slows down!  At another friend’s home my girls have access to unlimited art supplies and plenty of space to create.  I will never forget the time they used a younger sister as a model and put on a fashion show complete with styled outfits, styled hair and makeup.  This was not simply dress-up.  These outfits were not Disney store costumes.  They were artistically created ensembles.  This was the dramatic expression of something that could be a possible career choice for Lilah.  She loves all things fashion.
These playdates give the Mom’s a chance to have privacy while at doctor’s appointments.  They give Mom’s a much needed break to get the things done that we simply put aside in favor of teaching our children.  Don’t assume our children are just on a “playdate” because after all....isn’t play a very valuable aspect of learning?

I believe it is.

We played Blokus while our friends were here today.

We learned to make 3-D snowflakes with really big scissors!

We blogged by the fire.

Our friend taught us how to make duct tape bags.


Helena said...

Friends are such a lovely lifeline, aren't they? We've made such amazing ones since we started homeschool (and kept many from school land too). Sounds like you've had the same experience! Life has become so rich.

And yes, I totally agree about play! It's during play that so much learning happens and is consolidated (but of course our kids don't care about any of that!). It's lovely watching kids explore their world in their own way. It's how we often end up spending many of our days…especially these long summer ones…and it's been beautiful.

Karen said...

YES YES YES. I think it would be impossible to homeschool without a network. Yours look great. Were these people you already knew or people you have met this year?

Kei and I loved Grace's story on her blog. We were cracking up at some of the storyline. :)

Love the bag duct tape. I love duct tape it is just so dang expensive. I want it in all colors!

mamak said...

Love it, and could not agree more. Play is the best way to learn!

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