I am a novice to homeschooling.
I have decided that I would like to document my experiences as well as I can. Things I am learning. Experiences we are having. Failures we are encountering. Obstacles we are attempting to navigate.
When I lived on Base in the Azores, I was a part of a little homeschool group, but other than this two-times-a-month little gathering, my exposure to homeschooling "groups" is fairly low.
But that is about to change.
Because apparently, our county, is a"Mecca" of homeschooling. Honestly, I keep meeting homeschool moms. And I am not trying to. Really! Honestly, everywhere I go there are homeschooling moms. They introduce themselves to me. They tell me that our city is the best place to be if I am going to be a homeschool mom. They give me websites and Facebook pages and start rattling off information to me so fast, I can't keep up.
The number of possible activities in our city feels limitless. I can't even keep up on the things being thrown at me: co-ops and field trip groups and tutorials galore!
But since we are (at least right now) a one vehicle family, and my husband works different days each week, I have decided to limit my involvement to things I do not need to commit to. For the next year, we don't plan on getting involved in anything that requires a weekly or even monthly committment. Instead, we hope to attend events that we can take or leave depending on whether or not we have a vehicle.
The public library in our city is AMAZING. They are constantly holding activities for the kids. The one I would not have picked for the boys to attend? A Lego Club. Seriously? A Lego Club? But you know, my boys can read now, and they can especially read the word Lego, and they saw it on a sign on the library, and they drilled me and asked me about it repeatedly until I was definitely locked into attending this club with them.
So Friday was the monthly Homeschool Lego Club. Since JB was home, we could go. And since JB was home and Lego Club meets right smack in the middle of nap time, JB volunteered to stay home with the sleeping girls in our family while I took the boys to the Club.
Folks, I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by this Lego Club. Firstly because of how many kids were there. Dozens of children around the boys age. All homeschooled kids. (Apparently, in the winter, the group can get as high as EIGHTY children!)
Secondly because of the quality of children I was meeting. You know how when you attend events with kids there are always a few of them who are just out of control? Well not here. These children were kind and courteous and intelligent and articulate.
At one point, the table my boys were sitting at decided to work together to accomplish this month's theme: farming. I was a little nervous as I observed this from the side of the room. Most of the kids at their table were older and were polished lego builders. How would they take to two little boys trying to help make a farm scene.
Well they took marvelously. An older boy took the lead and encouraged my boys to make hay and a horse and help him find red pieces. They eagerly accepted his challenges and beamed when the boy told them what a good job they were doing.
At the end of the meeting, it was time for "Show and Tell." Let me preface this by saying that ever since we have returned to America, my kids have not left my side at events. While the other kids sit in the center of the room volunteering and raising their hands, my kiddos sit right by me and keep completely to themselves.
So imagine my surprise when both boys wanted to draw a number out of the hat to participate in Show & Tell. And imagine my incredible surprise when I saw Sidge pulled #1, and he stepped to the front without hesitation, rattling off details of his lego builds articulately and appropriately. And Isaac, who pulled the second to last number, confidently walked to the front of the room and barely stuttered at all while he shared what he had built.
I was seriously the proudest Mama ever.
The room was full of kind, encouraging people who all homeschool their children. These were not weird people. These were very cool, hip people and amazingly kind children.
(Can you tell my first homeschool event here in TN was a hit?!)
Isaac showing what he built during the "free building" time.
The boys working as a team with three other boys to build a farm.