Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Up All Night

Yesterday was Sam's birthday. He turned six, and his desire was to have fun all day, and then stay up all night and play. He got his wish. I went to bed – I choose to work today – but Kristin and the boys stayed up. They watched Star Wars Episode 1 and The Black Stallion Returns. They turned the Eagles on loud and danced. The played Pokemon. And that's just the stuff I know about. It wasn't the most restful night I've experienced.

He did it, but just barely. When I got up at 5 a.m., Sam was starting to fade. Kristin said she felt like she was in an airport. Trin, on the other hand, had gained his second wind and said he was wide awake. As Kristin carried Sam into the bedroom to watch the Making of Star Wars, he said, "Wake me up when we get in there."

Homeschooling is an incredible gift we give our children. Perhaps the most valuable gift we give them. We have no curriculum. We prioritize dreaming, following our interests, domestic arts, respect for self and others, fun and play outdoors, exploration, community service, natural and social sciences, reading and math, and music. The math they learn is meaningful, connected to what they're doing. The reading is, too, and mostly they teach themselves. They help us grow our own food and preserve it. They are an integrated part of our economic unit as a family. Their childhood is embodied freedom and responsibility, and they are thriving.

And one of the side effects is that a six-year-old boy can have his birthday wish and stay up all night, without losing a single minute of school.


David Carrel said...

haha that is funny. I don't know if I would have ever wished for that, but I do know that I wouldn't wish for it now. ha. That was a neat post Seda; we are probably going to need to do homeschool and that made it sound really good.

Anonymous said...

Hey girl,

Holy moly--Max would have loved that birthday present--he was up most nights anyway, total night owl.

You did forget with home schooling, (and David should know this) that the kids don't waste time trying to fit in. They fit just fine into a family. No one in my family ever rejected me for being weird, and ditto for Max, only difference is that he's just now learning he is weird in college; didn't learn it as a child. He learned it when his whole Biology table left him alone saying that they didn't want to sit with a "total genius".

Go figure. If I added up all the time I spent in the hall or in the library for being a "total genius" I'd have a couple of years.

We give our kids the opportunity to realize themselves without having to squash that under the expectations of a group of strange people. That's more than a dream, although Max did his fair share of dreaming, too.

Growing up with love is so vital a force that I think you and Kristin doing more for the future than recycling and driving your biodiesel (when you drive at all.)

As I said, I want to live in Trin and Sam's future--the future you are making.

thanks girl,

Seda said...

You can do a lot worse than homeschooling. Better yet, unschool. Get every book by John Holt you can - "How Children Fail," "How Children Learn," etc. John Taylor Gatto's another good one - for a good reason for homeschooling, read "The Underground History of American Education." If you "have" to homeshool, consider it a blessing.

By the way, are you hinting at something?

Hey, thanks, girl! That's cool.

David Carrel said...

Oh yeah, I thought I posted it somewhere right when we found out, but Sarah is due September 28! We are very excited.

Seda said...

Yay! Congratulations, David & Sarah! Do you know if it's a boy or a girl yet?

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our