I loved reading the Swallows and Amazons
series of books when I was a girl. Actually, I’ve read some aloud to my kids and some silently now I am an adult, a mother.
The series tells of the adventures of four children, their exploits, their adventures, many of which are set in the Lakes District of England.
I loved the picture of an ” idyllic, yet often realistic, depiction of childhood and the interplay between youthful imagination and reality”.
Last night, after a CAFE meeting at our parish ( Catholic Adult Formation), dh and I were chatting to some of the friars. I mentioned our often late dinners and late nights and Fr. said something to the effect of ” Perhaps it didn’t matter as much since the boys did not have to be up early and rush aound to get to school”.
It is true. Our schedules , as homeschoolers, and particularly as unschoolers, have a certain freedom. We definitely have routines and pegs, activities piggybacked onto other activities until good learning habits are formed; and we have many outside activities. Yet my children’s days have never been dictated by a school schedule.
My older four sons can set themselves to a work and university deadline, so the lack of a school schedule has not created unorganized, undisciplined young adults.
However,my children have had the kind of childhood of which I dreamed and read about when little. A Swallows and Amazons childhood, with time to read, imagine, play, explore. Whilst still learning some good habits and self discipline, for the most part, along the way.
Like today. Yes, we were up early after a late night of CAFE and of Harry Potter reading – up early, not for school but for Mass, attending our Francisan parish, praying and participating in the Portiuncula Indulgence.
Then breakfast at McDonalds, home for chores and free time – playing piano, reading, playing computer games.
We will do some Maths and/or English and/or Latin activities ( university assignment for Jonathon) before going to the grocery store and bank and chemist, to a doctor appointment and to lunch at the home of another homeschooling family.
Lots of play and talk there to be sure!
And on to work at Kumon together ( we spend a great deal of time together), Anthony cooking dinner, probably watching another episode of Stargate on DVD tonight and more reading and prayers at bedtime.
Tomorrow it’s First Friday Mass, having one of Anthony’s homeschool friends over ( most likely with lots of fun running around games) , going to homeschool ice skating, music lessons for two, work for teens, parish youth group for some, time with mum and dad for Anthony .
A different sort of schedule to the schedule of those who attend conventional schools. Who have children attend conventional schools.
A weaving of learning and routines, of have-tos and want-tos, of play and work, of imagination and exploration, of community and home, of Faith and of life.
A Swallows and Amazons childhood.