Summer vacation officially started this week for all of the kids on our block. Since we basically unschool, the school calendar means little to us. But having the neighborhood kids home has certainly changed our days.
We are so very blessed to live on a block with a bunch of really great kids ranging from 13 on down to 17 months. These kids shatter all of our self-righteous homeschool stereotypes about public school kids. They're creative, kind, they know how to play with kids of all ages. They're really great kids. And, also shattering stereotypes, they're not over scheduled. With the exception of the one family with two parents working full time, the kids are home pretty much all day every day. And they play outside pretty much all day every day.
My kids run out the door after breakfast and I have to drag them in kicking and screaming for lunch and then again for dinner. It's awesome.
The kids are basically running their own summer camp. Today's mission was to catch a garden snake. As far as I know, they didn't actually make the catch, but they sure have had a lot of fun in the pursuit.
The other evening as I was making dinner I looked out my window and saw all 12 of the block's kids playing in my backyard. A visiting grandma had wandered over to help supervise and as it got closer to dinner a few moms showed up chat and collect their children.
I love all of this. I do. But I have to admit, I kind of miss my kids! Especially my oldest. He's so darn self sufficient now at the ripe old age of 7, that I hardly see him at all. He did come in with a splinter today. That was a nice way to make me feel needed.
It gives me such hope when I look and see these kids playing and interacting the way they do. I see that it is possible for kids to be schooled in a variety of ways and come out great. I see that "kids these days" are intelligent, creative, kind, and respectful.
On the other hand, it makes me that much more thankful for the closeness that homeschool provides. I can't imagine what I'd be missing if my kids were away from me all day, every day, all year round.