The Day After Labor Day. The Day the Yellow Busses Roll. The First Day of School.
Freedom Day – or the First Day of No School Day.
This is our 12th year on this crazy ride we like to call homeschool, learning at home, home school, homeschooling – or just a journey an atmosphere, a life. On that first summer when we intentionally looked for curriculum packages for our quiet 4 year old boy – we took an long trip to a lake in the woods to celebrate our first “No Day of School Day”.
On that trip we were peppered with questions, enough to have me really think about our goals for the boys. The mission for our school. The true solid ground floor ‘why’ of keeping my kids home. I came home to write out pages of verses, ideas, thoughts, words just flowed out. I keep that notebook on a prominent shelf in our resource room. I’ve added bits to it, but the solid goals and mission have stayed the same.
We are Petra School. Petra – The Unmovable Foundation, Cornerstone, Rock. Built on the Word, Christ. I am Pebblekeeper, Pebble, Stone, Petros – A Piece of that Rock. I want to build an environment of natural learning. Seeking out answers to the many questions that the boys give to me. Looking at living books, field guides, people, museums, and even movies.
We spend time all year thinking of goals, and concentrated efforts praying, seeking, studying, asking, and finding the goals either in the Spring or late Summer. This year it was all summer. ha. Then the quest to find the best resources to meet those goals. Each year we’ve taken it one year at a time, open to whatever resource, including government and private schools or universities to meet those goals.
So far, each year, sometimes each week, as soon as the thought pops in, a need, a learning goal – the resource just appears. From a friend? From a review? From me not really remembering what is in our resource room. Ha. Or my mom calls and asks if we need to order something. (She helps with scholarships for non review materials.) She always seems to know when I’m thinking of a purchase item. So year by year, He has provided what our home needed to keep the learning focused.
This year, it has been an abundance of homeschool friends. We had not one, but two Not Back to School parties. One in town and one in Portland. We’ve gone from being the only local homeschool family known in town, to having over 78 members on our Facebook Local Area Homeschoolers page. Walking through Oaks Park yesterday I ran into 8 families from our group that made the trip up. Talked to families from all over Oregon, and got to sit with a very close friend in the shade while the kids came and went. (Came when they wanted another dollar. ha!)
I like to simply call it Freedom Day. Now, entering our 12th year of intentional learning, more than ever, I have experienced the joy and freedom of home learning. The width and scope of the possibilities to live a life that is constant growth. For our whole family. The ability to switch gears, change resources, slow down, speed up, or turn around all together. To be able to partner with the local schools, the community at large, the City, other homeschool families – while we are on this path. To keep experiencing the Lord providing exactly what we need moments after we learn that there is a need, or a day before we are faced with a challenge. I could write pages. I celebrate the freedom to choose the best resources for my children. I celebrate the freedom to live this life out loud, in the blogging world, on Facebook, and in town. I celebrate the freedom we have in Oregon to Homeschool. I just stinkin’ love celebrating Freedom. It is our 4th of July of Learning.