Sunday, October 2, 2011

childhood is calling

The establishment of the Protection of Childhood Act was born in 26 minutes. Established here at the gates to Wasatch Commons a Co-Housing Community.

I'll explain the Commons first.  The Commons are a curious place. I had know about them for years but had little more than a passing glimpse of life there so of course I jumping on the invite to visit. Passive solar common walled houses, cooperative living, green spaces, common spaces, private spaces, wild spaces, gardens spaces, dogs, cats, playgrounds, what doesn't it have? A street running through it instead it has a little winding path.

These photo's do not do it justice!  For starters you can't FEEL it. But I can tell you what it feels like- like Waldorf for grown ups.  That only covers my feelings on the space.  The pair we came to visit were just as real & open as the place they lived.

  Greeted by our new little friend high up in a tree.
The day was to be a simple play date with new friends a mother daughter duo like us.  We had the start of plans to form a formal home school swap each taking a subject to teach. I am not a home schooler or a an unschooler but something in between- there seem to be a lot of us out there.  I draw from Classic Education (minus religion increase science) my counter part here from Waldorf (which might help explain the feeling of the Commons) exploring the edge of unschooling.
As the mom's talked about the life at the Commons, about the death of dogs, about friendship, about life and love, the 26 minute walk there filtered slowly through my mind.  The time we took to stop and touch turning leaves, to see the horses, to cross the river walk bridge, peer in local shops, count pumpkins in the fields, and stare into the school yard with the long tall wire fence.  What is Childhood? 

Why am I home schooling?  What realms does my child really need to know?  Why do I constantly feel the need to chase a curriculum I don't exactly support?
Why am I sneaking in teaching to the test while Beach pursues the knowledge she need when she needs it?
Often ahead of schedules. 

And as we talked the girls played happily together it was decided: what our daughters both needed was one day a week set aside for the preservation of childhood: long uninterrupted play with deep study in friendship.

Beach & I walked home (Beach on roller blades) the 26 minutes walk back between the RB farm & the Commons passing the school.  The kids were out on the field at PE.  She peered in the fence sighing, "Do they know?" She asked. 
"Know what honey?" 
"About home school?" 
I looked through the fence. "I don't know, why?" 
She turned to me frowning, "I bet they think I walking to or from a school but I'm not." 
The Teacher blew her whistle.  Beach covered her ears shaking her head.  "Why did she do that?" 
"To call them in."  I explained pulling her away from the fence. 
We began walking again.  "Mom," Beach said taking my hand, "Thank you." 
I didn't have to ask what for I already knew what she was thinking...

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