Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!

One Step Closer to “Normal”

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Ah…life with a car is good! We’ve been able to get out and do so much. We’ve gotten to do so much that we haven’t been able to do in quite some time.

Take Friday for example. We got to meet with a local homeschool co-op. We used to go to a co-op before we moved here, but a two and a half hour drive is a bit far to make it out every week. It made me realize just how much we loved our old co-op. I’ll be happy to be involved in one again.

This co-op is great, but a little more intimidating than our last one. The classes at the last one were three hours on one day each week. This one has classes that last most of the school day. The kids have homework and assignments at every grade level. They take literature, writing, history, science, art, and Latin. Next year they’ll be including some math. It’s not terribly free-spirited and unschool-like, but the kids thought it sounded fun. We decided to give it a try.

On Friday we got to meet everyone, which was nice. I hadn’t expected them to be so organized! They had schedules in neatly planned out books. They get the whole course planned out for the year in advance. They also go for a full school year unlike our last that only went by semester. I have to admit that’s intimidating. If it doesn’t work for us we’re signed up for the year. It also makes it twice as expensive when registration rolls around. We can’t pay half the cost in the middle of the year. At the same time, I love the organization. They meet up for two orientation days before the school year starts. During that time all the moms get the rundown on how it’s all going to work. On the first day of classes it’s probably much less chaotic than it was at our last one. It would be so much nicer to start off well prepared.

The kids loved it. Corde got to sit in on an art class. How perfect is that? Beekee was put in science, his favorite subject. Sander was able to play. They all got to meet the kids that will be in their class next fall. Then we had lunch with them all at the park. Of course, I overshot the park because I was too concerned with the cop riding my tail to see the sign at the entrance. When I turned around my GPS got me lost because it’s not programmed to know the park entrances. I knew I should have just trusted that I knew how to get myself there! The kids had a blast. Corde ended up rough-housing with the boys most of the time. She started out with a friend from church, but I guess the girls weren’t as much fun. They were more interested in chatting and were a little on the exclusive side. The boys were looking for animal tracks in the mud, which was much more interesting. They thought it was cool that she liked wrestling and play fighting too. She was right at home with them. I think they also liked the fact that there was a girl they could tease and pick on that not only could take it, but could dish out too! Most girls I’ve known complain when the boys play rough, so I can see why they liked having her around. She’s got two brothers that play rough and most of her friends have generally been boys, not because she prefers them, but because most of the kids she was exposed to most of her life happened to be boys. We’ve also had a frequently changing cast of kids in our lives, so boys were just easier to befriend. Girls seem to take longer to warm up to people and are more prone to forming cliques. Boys don’t seem to be the same way. I think that’s why I’ve spent so much of my life as “one if the guys.”

The kids are really looking forward to having co-op time again. Corde is thrilled to have kids to play with at the park and some cool new classes. Beekee played by himself at the park, as always, but didn’t get upset that Corde was playing with other kids instead of him like he usually does, probably because there were so many other kids around. Sander was actually playing with the other boys his age and had a blast. He can’t wait to do it again. It’ll be hard to go without his usual daytime nap, but he’ll adjust. If not, I’ll find a way to keep an early nap time. Who knows? He may find he’d rather nap on the car ride home.

Having seen the line-up of classes for next year, I’m excited. They’ll be doing physics, a particular favorite of mine. They’re also moving into Civil War era history and beyond, a good transition from Corde’s current knowledge of the American Revolution. The literature of that era contains some of my favorites. I have a feeling we’re going to go above and beyond on that end of it. There are some great works in that era. Oz will love it too, given it’s including some of his favorite authors and his favorite period of history, the Victorian Age.

Given we have the freedom to get out and drive, we checked out Barnes and Noble to see what kinds of editions of our selection from the era we could get our hands on. That place could easily be the death of my bank account. There were two beautiful editions of the complete works of H.P. Lovecraft. They had a couple if beautiful Jane Austen books. We found a beautiful copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray. They had two gorgeous volumes composing all of the Sherlock Holmes stories. We found two books of a great copy of the Oz series. Of course, you know we have to get that. The kids don’t know about Ozzie Osbourn, so to them it’s the Great and Powerful Oz. Corde picked that book as her bedtime story for weeks after Oz first moved in. Then there’s the Alice books, Wonderland and the Looking Glass, which are also favorites of Corde’s. She used to love A Tale of Two Cities, and Dickens falls in that era as well. Of course, you can’t forget Poe. She used to love Frankenstein too. She had a disturbing understanding of that book, relating herself to the creature and Victor Frankenstein to her dad. They have such beautiful books that look like perfect library editions. We could have them lined up on the shelf to look like an old library with ancient tomes. I want to buy them all! Of course, they also had favorites from other periods too, but just the versions from the period we’re looking at were amazing. Oh, this is going to be an exciting year! Even if the kids lose interest in the books, I know Oz and I will love reading them! Book stores really are dangerous places for my bank account!

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Author: Fox

With four kids in the house, who has time for much? Well, we're trying to make it work, trying to get as close to our unschooling roots as we can while state restrictions and family pressures try to stand in our way. Every day is a new adventure.

2 thoughts on “One Step Closer to “Normal”

  1. Bookstores are a dangerous place for me too. I’ve made a rule for myself. I can look in B&N, but I can’t buy. There’s no room left in the house to store books. 🙂 Before you buy one, ask yourself where you’re going to put it when you’re done.

    I’m so glad you’ve found a co-op. I know it’s something you’ve been wanting and needing for a while. Seems like things are really on track for you and I’m so excited.

    • That’s an excellent rule! So in order to buy anymore books I have to buy a bookshelf. I can totally do that! Yeah, I’m horrible!

      I’m just glad we’ve got some awrsome social stuff planned for the kids!

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