Back to “no-school”

I have to say it, while I disliked school as a kid, I did love the unique scent the end of summer brought. I called it the ‘smell of school’ and I liked it. It meant a change was coming and change excited me… to a certain degree.

Now that the air has that ‘smell of school’ again, I’m happy the change we’ll be experiencing will be unique. Yes, we’ll be starting ‘school’ but as homeschoolers, ours is more like ‘no-school’. We can pack the books and pencils, hop on our bikes and sit under a tree in the park to study. We can head to a museum to study art, science or natural history. We can sleep late, stop when we’re tired, then pick up again later on. The beauty of homeschooling – for us, as I know it’s not for everyone – is that children are constantly learning. Feeding their inquisitive minds is fun – and can certainly be a challenge. One thing that I love the most is that I learn as Daughter learns. I’m either reminded of things I’ve forgotten or I’m awakened to something new. What a thrill to learn together and to share the excitement of new concepts or understandings.

I’m very fortunate to be able to homeschool my daughter. It’s not just a wonderful experience for her, but a wonderful one for all of us as a family. There are some days when I think I’ve accomplished very little in my life, and I feel terribly low. Like right now with my writing, which has been on the back burner all summer. But then I realize how much we actually do – together – and know when Daughter grows up, she’ll take wonderful memories and moments along with her. Memories and moments I helped create for her not just as her mom but as her teacher and fellow student. She’ll be a life-learner, interested in why and how things are going on around her, not just that they are. The thought makes me smile as I plan another outing for tomorrow. Music and culture are the themes of the day.

Labor day morning at Bryant Park, NYC where pianist, Frank Owens, will be sharing the phenomenal music of Scott Joplin, the Gershwin’s, Eubie Blake and more while we sit under the trees and listen. And then Labor Day afternoon at the Botanical Gardens where we’ll learn about the culture of the Lanape Indians – a Native Nation vital to our area’s history.  

I look at possible events and can’t help circle them thinking, “Wow! This should be exciting!” And after all, isn’t that what childhood – indeed life – should be about?

9 Responses to Back to “no-school”

  • Debbie,
    You make ME want to take part in all these activities. I love this sort of thing. Come to think of it, I enjoy learning about the world around me–something I learned from my parents. We always went to musuems, stopped to study birds, searched for fossils, etc. Life is so much richer when you ‘see’ it.


  • Debbie, best wishes for another wonderful experience with home schooling!

  • Debbie, I know the smell you mean, but I called it the scent of fall, and I loved it, too. It’s not something we get to smell here in California very often, darn it. I’m glad you’re enjoying the homeschooling experience along with your daughter. This will bring the two of you closer together and that’s a good thing.


  • Linda,
    You’re so right – life is indeed so much richer when you ‘see’ it. As a kid, I was flighty and only concerned or interested in my immediate world. I wanted things to be different for my daughter, I wanted her to see, understand and be part of the world around her. Fortunately, she’s the kind of kid who soaks that all up. And I’m having a ball, too. Win-win. 🙂


  • Kathleen,
    Thanks for the good wishes. I know it’ll be fun but it will also be hard work. I declare, however, we are up to the task! lol.


  • Linda,
    I was in San Fransisco years ago – at the end of August – and it was cold. The 50 degree weather surprised me. Is there not a regular change of season there? I would definitely miss the change – the smells, the shift of sunlight, the tiny nip in the air. If I could bottle it all, I’d do so and send it to you to enjoy. 🙂


  • Debbie, funny thing about San Francisco– the summer is colder. The peninsula gets a huge Alaskan blast, and when the sun goes down, people wear parkas and ski hats. During the day when the sun is bright, San Francisco weather is cool but delightful. California is divided into two parts– North and South, and climates are very different.

  • Debbie, it’s good that we don’t feel guilty if we put our writing on the back burner in order to accommodate real life. Your daughter is so lucky to have your full attention. The benefits are too enormous to even describe.

  • We’ve enjoyed those moments with our girls, too. #1 daughter is now a college student in NYC; #2 is 16 and busy busy busy exploring her world.

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