P, fossil hunting. He's pretty sure he found a dinosaur egg the other day.
Well, its official. We're homeschooling. I know, I know. I've been saying that for years ;) And, living in a place and time where daycare for a two year old is called "school," that has seemed true. But, according to New York State Law, this is our first official year as homeschoolers. Whooohooo!
Of course, the paperwork would be due while we are out of town. And the mail forwarding would make it impossible for us to get our forms in time. But I think it came together ok.... (insert nervous pause)... and I guess I'll know for sure whenever we finally hear back from the central office of homeschooling...
And though most of his peers trundled off to ivory towers two years ago, everyone seems to now notice that the kid is not in school. Until now, it was just slightly odd :) And, thus, begins the questioning.
Mostly kind. Honestly. Occasionally prying. And only occasionally accusatory. But I've got my story straight. My answers are short and simple and they even killed the lawyer-like approach of a recent neighbor's inquest. She started quizzing P. Then asking me about my "curriculum." Then, my "credentials." Ahhh, everyone is sooo sweet to watch out for my kid, just in case I am royally sucking.
So I tossed out some umbrella comments about NYState's well defined curriculum requirements and answered to the affirmative that I, indeed, have taught school, real school ;) Never mind that it was art. To high schoolers. It worked. It shuts down lawyer types fast, these easy-peasy reassurances. Then they tell the child how lucky he is!
A brief review of what the "lucky" kid has been up to (ok, well, a very small sampling of what the kid has been up to;) during this first week of "school."
His self-inspired science experiment.
Umm, earth sciences?
Food Sciences and Horticulture :)
But my favorite, so far, was this little old lady at the rental car place this summer. She tried to chat up an unusually grumpy P, who wasn't winning any points for proper appearance of socialization :) But as they warmed to each other, he reported he'd be homeschooling and she told us a looong story. About her great-niece. In California. Mother of 4. Homeschooler. "And at first, I thought she was just crazy. I didn't know anything about it, see, and so I thought it must just be an awful thing to do to those children. And then I started learning about it and, why, its amazing! I just think you are such a lucky little boy."
I love these moments. Moments of open acceptance (about any subject, really.) And the child has been so lucky, lucky that most of our "coming out" moments have been positive, like this one. They breed such warm-fuzzy cocoons around his "lifestyle." Which has to be reassuring once the school year starts and the streets are scarily empty during the day. Do you remember the scene in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (one of P's favorite movies)? When the family walks through that small Bavarian town and something seems terribly wrong? And then they realize.... there are no children. That's what its like when P and I venture out during the first half of the day during the school year. Tall people everywhere. The occasional baby, sure, but no kids.
Ahhh. Well, except for the other homeschoolers ;) A group to which we now officially belong.