Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Weekend, Spring and the Green Exchange

It seems that whatever new thing I am doing, I end up with a group to tend while I’m doing it. That’s fine; fun, even, because it means that I always have a support network to fall back on or get feedback and validation for my choices. In this case, I have been working to revitalize Triangle Homeschoolers, which is a secular homeschool support group that I started when the boys were very young. We did a few things back when LittleBoyBlue was in pre-home-school, but once he started Kindergarten at the charter school, we weren’t in “the homeschool club” anymore and no one wanted to take over the organizational aspect of running the group, so it became stagnate. I actually had one lady (who is quite the hoity-toity homeschool head honcho in Texas) get quite nasty with me for daring to run a homeschooling group when I wasn’t homeschooling my own kids. My response to that was something along the lines of “good parents don’t let the learning end just because the school day is over, regardless of where their children are educated”… then I booted her judgmental ass off my list.

Over the years, I’ve had people still join the group but my attempts to get things going again, usually during the summer, were not met with success which was frustrating. I considered deleting the group many times but ultimately chose to keep it open since this group is the only secular group in my area. I didn’t want to close the group ‘just in case’ we did homeschool. Of course now that we are actually homeschooling, I am SO glad that I kept the group open!

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been planning activities and trying to get the parents involved. That’s not going as smoothly as I’d hoped; I really expected more of them to be all excited that there was some activity on the list and opportunities to do things – I guess everyone isn’t as interested in that kind of thing as we are. {shrug} Oh, well… we’re still going to do them and if people miss out then that’s their loss. Anyway, Friday, we had our first Park Day with the group. Not many moms were able to come, but those of us that were there had a good time anyway. We ended up cutting it shorter than planned because a local elementary school also planned a field trip to the same park. About 30 minutes after we got there, the park was overrun with 3 buses full of Kindergärtners. Not that that was a huge bad thing; it just makes it incredibly hard to keep up with my children in such a large group. What was nice about it was that one of the Kindergärtners that was there was the daughter of a long-time friend of mine. She and her fiancée came to have lunch with her dd, and we got a few minutes to catch up.

I did bring my knitting, and got a few rows finished on my scarf. I am teaching myself; I learned how after my sister took it up, but I did it wrong and wasn’t motivated to stick with it, so  lost the skill. Now that I am motivated to make something out of my fabulous ribbon yarn, it’s going quite well and I think that by the time I am done with my scarf, the skill will be officially one that I possess. I’m doing a basic knit stitch and my friend Amanda showed me how to purl, so that will be incorporated into my next knitting project. Before you ask, yes, I am aware that I am making a scarf and we’re verging on summertime and I am aware of the oddness of that choice. I am also aware that I still have 2 quilts that I have been promising to work on and complete, but if you know me the you also know that I tend to have a very short attention span and am famous for having multiple WIPs (works-in-progress) at any given time. I’ll finish ’em eventually!

After the park, the boys and I went to a couple of places to stock up on gardening supplies. As long as we’ve lived in our house, “yard work” has always been the very last thing on my to-do list. Now that we’re: a) home more, b) in need of math and science projects and, c) slightly more interested in growing things, fixing up the yard has become more of an attractive to-do. Another addition to that little equation is the monthly Green Exchange that a local organization puts on.

Previously-mentioned friend Amanda and her husband Matt run a group called Please Remain Seeded, whose goal is to… well, check their website and you’ll get an idea. Every month, they’ve been hosting a “Green Exchange”. People who garden or craft can bring items that they have a surplus of to offer to others. It’s not an ‘even trade’ type thing, but you’re welcome to go home with things that others bring. There are no rules other than ‘no money is exchanged’ and ‘bring what feels right and take what feels right’. I brough some sourdough starter and Amish Friendship Bread starters and left with some mint to plant and seeds for a bean stalk and some mountain laurel and gourds.

Tomorrow (Monday), we’ll start working in the yard. If the weather holds, we’re going to be doing school outside tomorrow in true Charlotte Mason style. After workbook lessons are done, we’ll start digging in the dirt, prepping beds and starting seeds. I am going to do an herb box and each of the boys picked out some veggies to start. I’m not usually an outdoors-y type, but after some retail therapy and spiffy new flip-flops and sundresses to help my mood, yard work isn’t looking all that bad!

Warmly,

~h

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