The kids start school around here tomorrow, and I am feeling my annual tug of doubt in my head. Not in my heart, mind you. Just in my head. I worry that my kids will miss their friends or feel left out, or that after a summer filled with friends, I will be very boring. But after today, I feel better.
We released our first of four monarchs that we have raised from eggs, we had a great discussion about school and how glad they are that they don't have to go, then more about things they want to do in the coming weeks. Their list of things to do includes wheel-throwing pottery, buying a new game for the Wii, mountain-biking, apple-picking, and staying in pajamas. They asked for science experiments and trips to specific museums. They asked for laser tag, cooking, history lectures, and visits with their grandparents. All those things belong on the same list for them.
Our conversation reminded me of how their perception of what is productive or worthwhile is without boundaries. Everything in their life is fair game for learning, and they are only limited by their imagination of what is possible. Sometimes I still think of my old subject notebooks with their nice neat separations of five or six sections. They were very structured and comforting...and labelled. Our life - our learning - does not fit into those notebooks, and I can find that to be both wonderful and disconcerting at the same time. I have to continually tinker with my inner nagging school marm...but her voice is fading, and her bullying tactics don't work so well anymore.