Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How Do Ya Bubble in Riding Bikes and Scaling Fences on This Here Standardized Test?

Anyone who has decided to homeschool has, as a result, tormented themselves with weighing the pros and cons, scouring books upon books on the subject, confessing to  friends and family, and bashing themselves over the head just wishing they could prognosticate the outcome.

It wasn't an overnight whim, in other words.

After prechool-homeschooling Aidyn, we sent him to public school kindergarten (mostly because I was full-time at my uni and working), but we kept a running dialogue about returning to homeschooling.

Ever since deciding (as in not signing him up for first grade at his previous school and instead enlisting at a home-based charter school), I've let some outside concerns trickle in.

The most common is what about socialization?

He did build a good circle of six-year-old pals there, and I worried about whether he'd be exposed to as many social situations.

But, as I've been worrying, he has spent his time (on most days from about noon  until we force him inside  to 8 o'clock) playing with the neighborhood kids, riding bikes and scooters, winding toy trains through self-paved dirt paths, "playing school" with the two little girls that frequent the area, having dance-offs, and bursting in the house every other hour for help solving a social gaffe.

And I feel silly.

Even the other day at work, someone asked about the ins and outs of this here charter school and the field trips they organize.

This coworker offered, "Well, at least he can socialize with other kids once in a while."


I think I've taught more social ettiquette in these few weeks of summer break than ever before, but it's a slippery slope. I don't want to be the orge of social reform. I want Aidyn to learn to handle squabbles and cooperative play on his own.

Around 4pm on many days, I see the abandoned chapter books on our coffee table and debate whether or not to call Aidyn in to read.

(As an aside, no one ever says, but what about ed-u-CA-tion?)

But I realize that, through play, he is learning so many things that I cannot quantify, measure, or bubble in on a standardized test. Through the course of these summer days, I see him learning about friendship, building common bonds, the development of physical skills (like scaling the fence and giving his mother a heart attach. I'm better now), negotiation, and delving into a land of make-believe.

I've also learned that, most importantly, I need to just chill out.

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