Saturday, June 9, 2012
Fun for all!
One of the lovely things about a gathering of home educating families is the range of ages in children and how they all get along together. There's a certain joy in it... Before the advent of schools and spending all day with children you own age, it was the norm for children to spend their days in mixed-age and family groupings. In my home, I have three children aged 8, 5 and 18 months and they all manage to play together harmoniously for much of the day. They will spend time gravitating towards activities which are more age appropriate for a portion of the day, which we accommodate, but they always reconnect and enjoy time together as the day rolls along.
At co-op, we often see older children working studiously on a particular task, younger children working with the help of their parents... or like my middle child, playing all day and daydreaming... and the tiniest of the lot enjoy spending the day trying to catch up to the big kids, returning for reassurance and cuddles... and the odd nap. Generally there are times when they're all at play together and enjoy that space. The oldest may find themselves acting as leaders, or enjoy spending time with the adults. One of the loveliest things we can do at co-op is provide a space for all children to follow their natural rhythms. To spend some quiet, insular time indoors perhaps, or some exuberant outdoor play with the group... And as parents, we can support them, and each other, in providing that space to make the day roll along smoothly... It's what community is all about!
If you're thinking about unschooling or home educating your children, but they are only tiny, now is a great time to reach out and find a community to support you and friends to keep the days bubbling along nicely... Eventually other friends may join the schooled ranks, but if you're fortunate, as my family have been, that community will be already strong and supportive. Start a co-op, find your tribe, or come along to ours!