When people see Madison out and about during the typical school day hours this year, she's a magnet for questions.
"No school today?"
"Aren't you old enough for school?"
on the taller side. She can, depending on the day, look older than six.
At the very least, she doesn't look younger. To adults on the outside,
she looks like she should be spending the daytime hours in a first grade
classroom. When they see her out with me, they think day off, they
think doctor appointment, they might just be confused. But most adults
don't immediately think homeschooling. Because if you're
homeschooled...aren't you home?
And sure, sometimes we
are. But a lot of the time, we're not. When people ask me how
homeschooling is going and if we like it, I usually tell them that I
love how freeing it is. I'm responsible for educating my daughter, but
we can do it anywhere.
And that's weird to a lot
of people. They still have a mental picture of Madison, sitting alone
at a desk, looking wistfully out the window. Or, for whatever reason,
they picture us traveling the world, tromping through fields and woods.
But today's homeschoolers, at least a lot of them, are really somewhere
in the middle. Sometimes they're home, sitting and doing written work.
Sometimes they're on a "field trip". But sometimes, they're just out.
and I discovered this year that we both work well in the "coffeeshop"
environment. At home, we get distracted. There are toys and laundry and
dishes and books and technology that steal our focus. The library is too
quiet - we need a dull din where we feel free to talk to each other.
But at Starbucks, I pull out my laptop, and she pulls out her clipboard
and binder of work, we both become productive, and we have our school
day out. Not on a great learning experience of the economy of
coffeeshops, just work on the road.
We get a lot of
looks. We start a lot of conversations. But we get to educate people
about the fact that Madison can be in first grade while:
In the car.
At dance class.
At the doctor's office.
And it still works.
You can work at home. You can school at home. You can work at an office. You can school in school.
And then there's the in between. We can do school anywhere!