14 December 2012

day 1:conversing classically about community

last night i dreamt about free hand drawing europe. well, actually that's not true. i dreamt that my son accidentally free hand drew the wrong continent for his final that is today.{i also dreamt that i stole a cocktail for a girl who's boyfriend was cheating on her. somebody please analyze my dreams!}
at the Capitol
have i mentioned we homeschool? that being said, we are part of a ridiculously wonderful community of learners. never in a million years would i have imagined landing in the middle of such an incredible gathering of families who have decided to school their children at home. this first of 12 days of christmas writing posts goes out to my classical conversations sisters who have sat around a lunch table hearing me say things like,"if it weren't for you i would be sitting in my car chain smoking cigarettes". 

at first blush our little homeschool co-op may intimidate. it did me{and still does}. it took me two years of biting my nails til i decided to just jump in. over the course of a year, a child who attends classical conversations learns 450 facts that he is supposed to memorize. i hate memorizing facts. too hard. another reason why i was so reticent to join this homeschool co-op was parents are required to sit in on all the classes with their children attend. my thought was, "if i am paying for them to be here, can't i not be here?" but the founder leigh bortins had another agenda when she wrote within the classical conversations bylaws about parental attendance at co-op class times. she knew that by having parents engage with their children in their c.c. classes, the parents would not only be buying into the classical model of education, but they would be buying into the idea of community. and friends, our community is pretty great.

my boys cannot wait til fridays. not because it's the end of the week, but because it's the day they'll see their friends at c.c. i think the parents feel the same way. the rigors of life and  schooling make it sometimes difficult to drop into one another's lives throughout the week. come friday, we are all ready to dance a jig to see our compadres, catching up on all we've missed since last time. 
annette: smart, sassy and so so fashionable
julie, beth, hannah and debbie

annette is my sister from another mister. we often get shushed by our children for whispering too loudly in class. i love this woman who should be the poster child for homeschooling. she would give all those denim jumper stereotypes a run for their money. and then there's julie. she is my soul sister. we share a mutual love for things-a-bit-sassy, a good cocktail with a "namaste" thrown in for good measure. she's the one who never shies away from my outlandish monologues about the pains and strains of homeschooling whilst maintaining a sense of self. and then there's sweet debbie. o, the one keeps our little ragamuffin mom's klatch in order. she's wiley in her own way, but she is the responsible voice of reason for sure. she's the one you can call in a lurch when the babysitter up and quits and you need someone to watch your kids for the weekend. she's that steadfast and true. my boys would not be the budding writers they are without the unparalleled excellence that is one kathy c. and her magnanimous love for the written word. her colossal endeavors into the journey of writing has changed the lives of her willing and eager students forever and in so doing has changed the lives of those of us who have had the privilege to surf the web on our phones whilst sitting in the back of her class. oooopsie.

acting out vocab in mrs. c's writing class

these women along with so many others like nicole and beth, bunmi our fearless director, dennis and sheryl who have been the most gracious tutors to my boys, have literally saved my sanity. when julie admits, "emma skipped her analytical task sheets this week. it was just too much." i admire her motherly rebellion that is really just great motherly intuition. when jalen stands up to share his passion for science that is a nod to his mother's passion for science, i am inspired.

watching sam shoulder the responsibility of marine biologist by giving every one of his oral reports on something aquatic, i am glad harry has such a like-minded classmate. when madilyn brings her violin to play "happy birthday"{with the accompaniment of her mother who is first chair in the frederick philharmonic symphony}for the entire school i am literally brought to tears. when several families share their stories of coming here from africa, central america, as well as alaska it makes my heart deeply grateful for the diversity that surrounds our tight knit gathering.

this particular homeschool co-op is not the best fit for every kid who schools at home. but community is a best fit for everyone. and i adore our school community. without it, i would be sitting in my car chain smoking cigarrettes. 


No comments: