Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Anything but typical!

In the midst of a blizzard when all my time and energy is focused on clean up and snow removal, I tend to overlook the positive things that are happening inside the house.  I tend to focus on the fact that no book learning has taken place.  Anxiety creeps in.  But then I stop, and I reflect, and I realize that I am wrong.  In fact, lots of learning has taken place, just not at our desks or at our usual times.

Saturday night Lilah asked if I would like to listen to her read some Fred to me.  I would never ever say no to that offer!  

  • There was puzzle making.

  • There was art journaling.

  • There was reading.
      There was planning and organizing and decorating.

  • There was homework and a piano playing.

  • I read a chapter of history aloud for fun with no expectations of review questions or mapwork!
     There was Little House watching and fire building       (congratulations Lilah on your first fire!).

Schools in our town are closed through Wednesday and other towns have decided to shut down the entire week.  The online forums are ablaze with heated debate over the topic of additional time out of school (schools also lost a week due to Sandy in October).  Reading the hundreds of comments makes me feel physically ill.  Some parents feel that an additional loss of 5 days will make their children lose a competitive edge in the workforce years from now.  Others feel this will negatively impact mastery test performance.  Some feel vacation is just unnecessary and schools should be in session year round.  There are a few lone voices of reason, stating the obvious, that this was an emergency, a natural disaster.  If parents are so worried that their children are falling behind by missing 5 days of school.....they offered the sage wisdom that parents can work with their children on projects and reports and reading and writing at home.  Shocking!  But true.  These anxiety ridden parents could homeschool their kids for a week and it might just be fun.

Thank goodness this debate does not affect me.  I can let Grace free range for days.  She comes in for food and water and it right back out building forts, digging tunnels and snowboarding with her neighborhood friends.  This has been such a gift for her.  Time to see friends she does not get much quality time with lately.  They are out on the hill until dusk when their stomachs rumble and they return home wet, tired, and hungry.  She is happy.  Her work will be there waiting for non-blizzard days, when life is back to "normal" and we are back to our typical routine.  

This week has been anything but typical!


Lynda said...

"I can let Grace free range... " I love that statement, and it's such a great feeling of freedom for you also, right. And, just when burnout is setting in for all the rest of us. Have a wonderful week!

Karen said...

It sounds like a lovely week to me. A lot like most of our weeks. I can not believe how crazy people went about the days off of school. I just read it to Kei and we both just can't comprehend! Jess I just want to say I am so loving your Art Journaling pages lately. You are an artist and I am very impressed! :)

Homegrown Learners said...

yes, yes, yes! "Anxiety ridden" - love that statement you made.

Jessica said...

Burnout was setting in here too. This week gave us a break from normalcy and when we get back on track next week it will be like we had a little mini-vacation.

Hope your week is full of sunshine!

Jessica said...

Thank Karen! My journal has been bringing me joy. Most of my friends are amazing knitters. They can whip up a hat or a pair of mittens in one day. I cannot. I guess I could learn but my heart really is not into it. I just like the feeling of they yarn and the colors and textures. So I make blankets. In a plain knit stitch!

My journal is what brings me joy like knitting brings them joy. To work in it means I have to dedicate time to it so I have been getting more organized with the house and the girls.

School craziness is continuing here. Facebooks is a buzz with teachers complaining. Our local website for town news has abut 100 comments right now about school. Contractually they can't go past a set date in June so what is the big fuss? They knew they would be at that date back in October when they lost the week. Rather than complaining what a hassle it is to have your kids at home, how about you plan some at-home activities and enjoy them? I used to love any excuse for a day off from school. I loved having my girls with me instead of away from me for 7 hours.....

Jessica said...

I have to ask myself why after 4 years, I still have not completed my own deschooling process? Why does the anxiety over missing a few days of "work" still get to me? I know it is silly. My weekly wrap up reassures me that we are moving through the work that I would like to see done. Yet, it is still there.....

Jenn said...

Even on our worst days, I know that my girls are learning and accomplishing more at home than they would at school...and doing it joyfully.
I have no doubt that it is the same at your house:) Look what all was accomplished on this not so typical day! I think y'all are pretty amazing!

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