We, as a society, are obsessed with school years. Sales and tax-free days abound, and entire new wardrobes are needed. Even homeschoolers aren’t immune to its invasive nature.
Are you finished?
Are you taking a summer break?
Do you school year round?
I never know how to answer these questions, because you see, we don’t do school years.
There is no first or last day of school. I don’t have any pictures of my children holding chalkboard signs advertising the first day of a given grade.
This may seem sad to some, what about all those traditions? Shouldn’t they get a schultuete? Maybe, but we haven’t.
I Just Don’t Care
Honestly, I don’t care about school years.
What is so magical about September to May? Not much, it’s just the schedule of a system in which I don’t participate.
What does 2nd grade mean? Nothing, other than the location of most 7-year-olds in a school.
Don’t you ever take a break? Well, we learn all the time, so we don’t divide life into things that count and other things that are meaningless.
The Funny Side of Things
We were driving home from co-op in May and when I remarked about changes for next year my 10-year-old got so upset. What did I mean next year?
I had to explain that I meant in the fall and that’s the traditional start of a new school year. She had no idea and was utterly incensed we would call anything other than January a new year.
Furthermore, I had to explain how one grade level would fall within two years. What?
And that in elementary school you’re usually with the same teacher, in the same room, with the same kids all day. She really hated this idea.
I’m sure it would make for easier conversations if I just fell in line and followed a school calendar, but…
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We’re Not a School
We’re not a school, we’re a family. Yes, my children learn and are taught things, but because they are interested, not because it’s the 75th day of 4th grade.
I’m their mother, not their teacher. My husband is their father, not the principal. We have a library/art/playroom, not a schoolroom.
What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children’s growth into the world is not that it is a better school than the schools, but that it isn’t a school at all.
I suppose many would say this is semantics, but words are powerful.
We Live Our Life
So despite the convenience following a school year would afford, I don’t.
I prefer to enjoy September because the weather is starting to change and the leaves will soon fall.
May is anticipated because we will be able to take the first jump into the neighborhood pool.
Perhaps my children will resent this oddity of their mother, but I hope not. My wish is that they will view it with the same freedom I do.
Homeschooling already makes you a renegade, why conform to the scheduling dictates of an intrusive system.