June 1, 2011

homeschooling, day one

Or sort of. I told Briton that we wouldn't officially start "school" until August, but in reality I'm planning to squeeze things in all summer. Because, after all, we only have a year here, got to take advantage of everything we can.
In the weeks before our move, I did as much research as I could squeeze in (between the packing and the Lyme, it wasn't really as much as I wanted to do, but it's a start) on homeschool in New York. At first everything I came across was about homeschooling laws which is something I'm going to have to tackle soon - New York is fairly strict when it comes to regulating homeschooling - but for now I can't wrap my head around that end. After some more digging I came across the New York City Home Educators Association. In addition to the message boards and announcements about events in the city and group meetings, they also hold a monthly get=together for big group events, Art Shows, Science Fairs etc. This month it was Field Day.
Although I'm quite a social person and my kids are both social butterflies, we all have a hard time diving into a crowd of strangers and making friends and I almost let that side get the better of me this morning and passed up the whole Field Day thing. And also, I hate field day. I hated it as a kid and I'm not a big fan now. A combination of my dislike for hot weather (which it always is on Field Day) and my decidedly un-sports coordination always made it a day to dread. But in the end we went and I'm so glad because, as I said yesterday, we need friends, immediately.
Now perhaps this was a fluke. Maybe it was the day or it's just this city or it was purely the hours that we were there, but man, there are a LOT of 8-10 year old boys being homeschooled. We walked in to find the soccer field (on a pier! How cool is that?) filled with sweaty, active boys all Briton's age. And while he resisted all my attempts to hook him up with a boy who was at the playgarden last night he jumped right in with the game and pretty much didn't talk to me the rest of the afternoon. As for Evelyn, well, she met a girl in a pink shirt and had her face painted to be a pink kitty. So she was set too.
I'm not crazy enough to think that all our homeschool days will be fun and easy like today. Does Field Day really even count as school? Probably not. Over the next few weeks I'm hoping to sit down and plan out a more structured (but not too structured) curriculum for our year and I'm well aware that there will be many, many challenging days. But for now it's nice to know that day one was a success.