Homeschooling is Cool

So, last night Farmhand (aged 10 years) pauses our viewing of Cosmos to correct Carl Sagan's grammar. I think he was incorrect -- his point was that "cosmos" was plural, but I think Sagan's usage is correct because we know of only one... But later in the episode Sagan says our cosmos could be one of many so I guess it could go either way.

We watch documentaries with dinner at least two nights a week. Tonight's dinner was tori-karaage which is a fancy name for fried chicken nuggets, a very popular junk food throughout all of Asia. Never had it? Sure you have. Half of the chicken dishes in a chinese restaurant are karaage in different sauces. They serve it in bars the way chicken wings are served here and we silly American's think it's authentic asian food.

Japanese culture has been our latest obsession. We don't use text books to do that. Sure, we learn some history but we like to delve and it's been all-in: Food, anime and manga conventions, language, documentaries, art and lifestyle. None of it's been part of any curriculum we just did what excited us.

When we studied polynesian culture we had a luau. People from three states came which is surprising since we did it in November. It went well but we learned that cooking in pit ovens is a bit more complicated than we thought. We'll try again someday.

But let me be clear: Homeschooling is hard, challenging and downright scary. Farmahnd's future is in my hands. I will never stop clinging to the self-doubt that says "I'm not doing enough." For me, the only thing that mitigates that fear is my firm belief that I am doing more than the public school system would have done.

One of the best parts: We don't use alarm clocks. Ever. Ponder that for a moment. We're usually both up when the sun clears the tree line -- about 8am this time of year but earlier in the summer. People sometimes huff and puff about this is not a correct way to live but I figure its worked well enough for several thousand years of history it ought to work fine for us.

When we do get up there is no stressful running around and looking at the clock. No worrying about being late to anything. Our day simply begins.

In short -- Farmhand wakes up happy. I don't recall that happening much in my own youth.

Many people think homeschooling is apocryphal and will even go so far as to quiz farmhand to try and catch him out. They would ask him a math question or the name of state's capitol hoping to trip him up. I've taught him to respond to these with "Why do you ask?" which is usually answered by an evasion like "I was just curious" to which he now responds "Google it."

But we don't worry too much about those people. We're too busy laughing our butts off as we act out Moliere's The Misantrope in the kitchen or walking through the woods or blowing things up, um, I mean doing "science experiments."

We've been homeschooling for over five years now. People ask "Don't you want to put him back in school." I look at them, perplexed, as if they were asking me if I wanted a root canal.


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