Today I was able to attend our homelearner’s preschool drop-in event. Usually my Mother’s Helper comes on Thursdays so I can work, but she is off this week. We had a good time, even though DD had several “crises” that needed dealing with. She doesn’t do well with big groups of kids, and so there were several social interaction issues that came up. She had been doing much better this summer but lately we haven’t been socializing with larger groups and it was as though she were “out of practice”. After the dropin session a bunch of us headed off to Science World, and there she seemed to get along with the other kids much better.
I really like the group of moms at the HL group. They have all been very inspirational for me. Some of them brought their portfolio books today for the Silverdale program. It is run by a local school district. From their website it sounds very technical but actually it is very unschooling friendly. You get $500/year for K and $1000/year for Gr. 1 – 12, and all the classes are free (arts, science, French, etc. arranged through local organizations and designed for homelearners). You submit a portfolio three times during the school year.
Some hardcore unschoolers argue that this is still “too schoolish” for them, but in talking with the moms doing it, it really isn’t. None of them are doing anything more than they would be anyways, since so many of Life’s day-to-day activities can be counted in certain categories. Grocery shopping is Math. Building snowmen is Interacting with the Environment, etc. And I have to say that the idea of a portfolio has always appealed to me, as a way to guage our progress, and a reminder that we are *doing* something, even though there are times when I panic briefly and worry that I’m not doing “enough” with them.
And, I’m one of those spreadsheet geeks who LOVE organizing stuff in charts and binders, etc. So the portfolios really turned me on. The moms had incorporated photos, artwork, stories, etc into them. Heck, it’s basically Scrapbooking for Homelearners, lol.
It was good to go today. This week I’d been feeling guilty about my kids not being in enough activities. Now I know that next year we’ll be doing more stuff and I should just enjoy the free time we have while I can! Seriously though, as DD gets older there are more and more COOL things we can do together. Even DS is starting gymnastics class this January. So today was a big dose of inspiration and motivation and excitement about what lies ahead.
I’m going to ask D if she could work for me on Wednesdays instead of Thursdays so we can keep going to the dropin.