About a million years ago, I went to my first day of kindergarten. I was still four. I had a bowl haircut. (So, temporally speaking, a “million years” equals 1978.)
My mother reports that upon reaching home again that afternoon, I flopped my skinny body into a chair and proclaimed that I was very glad THAT was over. She asked how things had gone?
“Well,” said oh-so-small Me, “they didn’t let me read my book, they expected me to NAP, and they made me do… THIS,” at which I thrust forth the offending crafty item: a picture of a lamb with cotton balls glued on.
“Oh,” said Mom, and we sat a moment to contemplate the horrors of kindergarten crafts. “You know, you’re supposed to go back tomorrow, too.”
“But WHY?” (Imagine big blue eyes welling up with tears. I was a very plaintive, waif-like thing.)
“Well, because it’s school, and you keep going.”
“But for how LONG?”
I do remember her little cringe before she spoke.
“Ummmm… the next thirteen years.”
Luckily, I was a quick study, and had understanding parents, so I spent September through May, 1978 to 1991, artfully walking the fine line between attendance and truancy, playing a whole lot of hooky at home with my Mom.
She’s since commented that had she known home education was legal, even a million years ago, she never would have sent me back.
Thankfully, it is legal–and thankfully, I have a wonderful, supportive husband who happens to agree with me about most things related to education. The points where we differ are largely in application, rather than philosophy. (Well, that, and I’m chaotic where he’s regimented, and also contrary-wise. So we blend really well.)
Our children learn at home. They have a lot of time to explore their own passions, and I really enjoy watching the directions those passions take them. We try very hard to give them an interesting foundation, and make sure we’re on the path to producing functional adults as an end result. Some days go really well. Other days, not so much. Some days, it’s very tempting to sign them up for outside school, and let someone else handle it all. Thankfully, those days are rare, and it’s usually not more than twenty-four hours before I’m reminded that I really like my kids, and I really like being on the front-line of their exploration of the world.
Learning as a family, at home. It’s another fun way to rebel.