We have a gathering with our homeschool group once a week. When the weather is nice, we meet outside at the park and when it's not, we meet in a meeting room at the public library. Kids of all ages play and hang out. Parents knit and chat and connect. It's one of the highlights of my week. Many of us are unschoolers, but not all. Conversation inevitably circles around each week to how grateful we all are to have settled on life without school.
Today we were finally able to meet at the park. For the past 6 weeks, or more, the weather has been too wet and cold, and frankly, we were all getting a bit stir crazy at the library. Mid-February often brings what I call the Spring Tease. After the snow and the wind and the rains of December and January, we usually get 10 or 12 days of glorious, sunshiny days when the thermometer creeps up into the 50s and the birds come out to play. I've spent the past week digging around in my garden, spreading fresh compost, and fantasizing about the spring starts I'll be planting in another 6 weeks. Today was another one of those sparkling days. I'm trying to soak it all up now because around here you can't count on great weather until June.
As our kids ran around and played on the jungle gym I reflected on "the socialization question" that homeschoolers so often defend. It's so ironic to me that homeschoolers are the ones targeted as potentially socially deprived. The 15 kids represented today are some of the most easy going, socially comfortable, well-adjusted kids I know. They interact seamlessly with kids and adults of all ages. Rarely is there a separation in play between younger and older children. They are simply kids, doing what kids do best: learning through play. I love park day!