Envy struck me yesterday. Envy of living somewhere else, somewhere close to civilization.
A blogging friend, Mull-berry, has re-kindled her Addie the Adventure Mouse blog. Take a visit, Addie has had some great field trips. I wanted to host Addie. But I started feeling sorry for myself because there is nothing of any interest in my small town in the winter. There would be no fun place to take Addie. We normally have ice fishing. Our town has several lakes and the winter scene is identical to the movie Grumpy Old Men. But the last time I drove by one of our lakes, there were no ice huts because it's been too warm. That's all I could think of. So perhaps Addie can visit this spring when we can hit the road and actually see something fun.
In all fairness, Addie didn't make me envious. It's been building for quite some time. I envy several things: homeschool groups, museums, field-trip adventures, play groups, parks, zoos, and like-minded homeschoolers.
My small town does have a homeschool group. I went to a couple meetings and Thomas and I went on one field trip. I then decided the group was not for us and did not pay dues. The women of the group are all very, very nice. They just are so different than I am. I welcome differences, because that's how we learn. However, sometimes it would be nice to not worry about mentioning Harry Potter or sleeping in on Sundays or accidentally saying oh sh*t in front of someone.
The homeschool group is *big* on the co-op. The group is basically about the co-op. The leader of the group told me that our children need to learn to learn with other children, thus the co-op is a necessity.
I beg to differ. Kinda. One of the reasons Thomas is no longer in public school is because he learns differently than quote unquote normal. We homeschool to meet his educational and emotional needs. Another reason we homeschool is because Bob and I get to choose the curricula. We're not at the mercy of the public school system. We do follow the state standards.
Thomas has been in Cub Scouts and he knows full well how to "learn with others. "
So had we joined the co-op, we wouldn't have had any say in what was being taught. And the subjects they did teach didn't jive with our studies. Plus, it just wouldn't work out to take a day off from our lessons every Monday to go to co-op and do things that I didn't necessarily want Thomas to do.
At the beginning of this year, the co-op had a planning session. I went, and was one of five moms plus a few dads in attendance. Another newer homeschooling mom and I practically begged to have play groups, park days, and time for just pure social interaction for the kids. That's what I want out of a homeschool group. We were told that wasn't necessary, and that they would get that at co-op. I beg to differ with that, because their co-op is school, and not time for fun, free play.
So I am envious. I'm envious of choice. I'm envious of great groups out there that I know exist.
We had a good day yesterday. We actually started school at 7:30 am, which is amazing because we usually don't start until 9. School went well, but I just felt a little down all day. I felt down again this morning. I got up early again and made some chocolate chip muffins to surprise Thomas. When they were done, I woke him up. He came out to the kitchen with a huge smile on his face and was very excited to see the little surprise I had made for him. I then got a big hug.
And school went very well. He was happy. He worked hard. Half-way through the morning, I looked at him. Really looked at him. All my envy just seemed to melt away. How could I have any feelings other than joy? He was smiling, working hard, and enjoying himself. He doesn't care about co-ops, or that we don't have museums, zoos, or play groups. He enjoys playing with his friends, he enjoys school. He gets a kick out of hiding his whoopie cushion under my chair when I get up. He giggles at silly things. He enjoys writing assignments because he usually writes two stories: one on topic and one on poop. (Yes, he's pure boy.) He thinks it's fun to turn in his writing and have me get mad about the poop story, then say "Just kidding, mom, here is the assignment."
So I took a lesson from Thomas today. Be happy with what you have. I am rich beyond measure. He knows this, but I occasionally have to be reminded.