We are homeschooling, or unschooling or… I actually don’t know how these terms are defined and haven’t had time to do the research necessary to speak about any of this with any authority, let alone knowledge. In fact “time” and what that means has kind of blown up in our faces as there never seems to be enough of it. Richard and I are scrambling to make this work, while making jokes about how many clones we would need to do so, if cloning were an actual thing. All of this is very new and we have not fallen into a routine yet. I guess the best description of what we are doing at the moment is – winging it. We are winging it, though this will change as time goes on, we think. We hope. We expect. What I can say is that Richard asked Emma what part of history she was interested in learning and she chose ancient Egypt and ancient Rome. This then led to several lessons on the Druids. Who knows where all of this will lead next!
Meanwhile, Emma and I have embarked on the exciting adventure known as the German language, as per Emma’s request. We had a particularly hilarious conversation a few weeks ago when Emma first brought up her interest in learning German. I was somewhat incredulous and kept saying things like “Really?” and “Are you sure you want to learn German?” and “What about Spanish or French?” But no, Emma was not to be swayed, so German it is. And guess what? It is SO much FUN!! We are using a couple of different programs, one is Duolingo, which was recommended by a couple of people. It’s a free online language program. Did you know all nouns in German are capitalized? Why? Who knows, lots of theories, but there is no one answer as to why, that everyone agrees with.
In addition Emma is working on several writing projects. One is a chapter idea, in which we will write alternating chapters. Emma wrote, “How about starting on what you presumed parenting would be before I was born.” I said, “Can you ask me questions, things you want to know?” Emma wrote, “Very happy to ask.” I said, “And what will your chapter be about?” Emma wrote, “What I presumed the world would be like when I was a baby.” I cannot wait to hear what she has to say about that!
We continue to make our way through Malala’s autobiography, I am Malala about the Pakistani girl who fought for her right to have the same education as boys and was shot by the Taliban. This has led to some terrific discussions about advocating for one’s rights, oppression, prejudice, violence, silencing, education, and the lack of. Recently Emma wrote, “Her life is unlike mine.” (Referring to Malala.) “But the oppression is similar to what I have experienced.”
While I continue to go through periods of abject terror at the thought of what we have undertaken, these moments are tempered with the excitement and joy I feel knowing that pulling Emma from school was by far the best thing for her. She is ecstatic and the marked change in her anxiety and stress levels makes all of us very, very happy.