I saw my friend at the grocery store and we quickly embraced each other and started catching up on each other lives. I had not seen her in quite some time so there was a lot of catching up to do!
"Maybe you can come on some of the homeschool hikes with us this year?" I said hopefully.
"No, we really can't take that kind of time off from school. Marilyn is in the seventh grade this year and it is a really tough year. We're doing Abecka you know and I'm afraid we'll leave something crucial out so I insist that we do all of it! It's really hard to homeschool a teen age girl."
Totally ignoring the fact that I have a teen age girl - as well as two teenage boys and a 2nd grader to homeschool this year, I simply nodded my head in agreement and wished her a happy homeschool year, knowing that I probably wouldn't see her again until she finished her homeschool canned curriculum probably sometime in May.
This incident made me remember my times as a serious ballet student. I would attend classes five or six days a week without fail or excuses! Heaven forbid I should miss a class! Consequently I missed out on family parties, invitations to concerts, and so many other activities just so I could attend class. Then one time, I remembered that because of a slight injury, I had to take a night off, and instead I attended a wonderful concert that evening. I remember how excited I was to get dressed up, and how much fun I had with a very young and handsome Mr. Pete, and how much I loved the performance.
The thing is - I took probably thousands of dance classes during my serious dance training years but they mostly blend into each other - not many moments from those classes really stand out. But I still remember that concert these 30+ years later.
And so I think it might be with homeschooling. Yes, they have to learn math and reading and grammar, science and history - but I want them to remember what it was like to hike in the woods with their homeschooled friends or taking the time to go to the local All Saints Day Party, or taking time for a field trip -even if it has nothing to do with what we are studying right now! Because THOSE are the memories they are going to cherish when they are older! Those little breaks throughout the homeschool year will help them to dive back into their regular studies, refreshed and with new energy.
But even more than that - it gives me a chance to emphasize the MOM part of homeschooling mom! I'm not just the one that assigns the workbook pages, or checks off the reading assignments - I'm also the one that took them to the park, and walked the tough trail beside them, or helped them bake cupcakes for the party, or got the movie for "movie day!"
That's the legacy I want to leave anyway. When they remember their homeschooling years, I certainly want them to remember the enrichment I tried to include and that, "oh yea... we got a great education too!"