The leaves are turning, falling, floating, and I am too. This month I'm experiencing a gentle lifting, a release and a drifting expansiveness. Perhaps it's simply experience and exposure to more people through taking big leaps of faith. I feel a heart wind carrying my soul; instead of struggle and conflict, it's completely effortless to simply live and love.
If ever there was a year to remember in our home education, it's this year. I want to remember every single day of Elliot's fourth grade. This year, we joined a science co-op that is so popular and filled with so many children that we stay all day. Elliot has many friends to share this incredibly wonderful "Science Friday" experience, which began when a high school science teacher converted a large house on a big rambling property into an alternative education haven. The property has a large yard for running, a hobbit house, woods, a pond and trees with swings. Inside, every room is dedicated to experiments, labs, creative projects and presentations. No one lives in the house, which came to this brilliant and loving teacher through an inheritance. Parents from all over pack up their children and picnic lunches and begin arriving at ten, some staying until three. It is a social event, a hands-on learning experience, and THE highlight for all who attend. The feeling of being surrounded by the families who share this journey lifts our souls. The lonely feeling that we started with is now a memory.
Recently we were invited to a birthday celebration for a girl with a large family. As Richard and I are also blessed with large families, being in the midst of this vibrant, joyful group helped us reconnect to a part of ourselves that we often supress while living out of state. Celebrating milestones with multiple generations of grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles was a regular part of my life growing up. It's no secret that I often feel isolated and detached from the loving people who helped to shape my perceptions and values. The loving energy that surrounded us during the party helped to heal the absent feelings of losing my "tribe." I fell in love all over again while I listened to Richard talking with the great grandparents. He brought out their stories and funny, unexpected lines that had everyone laughing and feeling good.
Later, I learned that Elliot's best friend Aiden told his mom that he likes our family so much he wished that we were part of his family. His comment was so thoughtful that when I think of this boy, I just sit in silent awe and gratitude. I once worried so much that home education meant that Elliot wouldn't have many friends to see every day. The outcome I didn't expect was the deep bond that happens between home schoolers who have the opportunity to develop friendship over years. Instead of being separated every year by shifting classes and teachers, they can learn and play together over the entire course of their time in school. Aiden and Elliot appreciate one another, share similar interests and challenges, and also are the sweetest, kindest boys! These two also connect with their unique sense of humor and observations...it delights us as parents to see them together.
Woven within the social events, I'm also riding a heart wind creatively. Elliot is a huge part of new developments in the artistic department. When he asks me to try to make something with him, I always say yes. Making is a big part of learning, and because it's fun, we tend to invest more time and push the limits of our abilities. This year is also exciting as Elliot is entering a realism stage in his art. The details of his drawings and use of colors are starting to take on more complexity.
And costume making this year is also becoming more complex. I'm allowing myself to experiment and to keep trying new things.
Many of you have already seen this one...but it is just another example of the expanding of our potential as we work together on projects. I wouldn't have even attempted this if it weren't for Elliot. He did most of the design and helped to construct it. I want to remember this time when Elliot's imagination and potential grew wings and soared to new levels of achievement.
We are having too much fun to stop this crazy project based learning! I hope you all are having a wonderful, uplifting fall season. Thank you to everyone who continues to share in our journey and continually blesses us with friendship and support. We appreciate you more than you know.