Most of the families we know in New York City whose children learn outside of school are homeschooling, not unschooling. (Unschoolers still make up only about 10% of all the homeschoolers in the country, give or take.) And most of those families seem to be planning to send their kids to high school.
My opinions about this are colored by my own experiences in high school, which, while not horrible, were certainly nothing to shout about. My Mom will attest that many was the time I would walk in the door and say, “I wish I could just go pick up my assignments and then come home. Why do I have to be there all day?”
Apparently I am in the minority in this regard, as in so many others.
As the parents started making noises about sending their kids to school, I thought, “I wonder if Maya will say she wants to go too? How will she feel about being the only one of her close friends NOT going to high school?” I mentioned it off hand one day and she said, “Oh my gosh. ALL my friends are going to high school. I am SOOO glad I won’t have to go.”
That’s my loud sigh of relief you hear in the background.
With the thought in mind that in 2 1/2 years or so my daughter’s circle of friends is going to shrink by at least 95% (not that she won’t still be friends with the kids just because they’ll be in high school, but 9 times out of 10 you simply stop seeing each other due to a lack of schedule compatibility; meaning kids in school have little or no free time…) we are planning a big year of travel for her 14th year, and Ben’s 10th. Travel seems the best cure for inevitable days of missing friends and wishing we could see them the way we used to. The idea of a yearlong trip has been in our heads since Maya was 5 years old, but we wanted to wait until both she and Ben were old enough to remember it. Now it seems the time has presented itself to us. All the friends go to school? We go travel the world.
When we first started discussing such a trip, all those years ago, Maya picked Iceland as the first country she wanted to visit. We haven’t discussed the route in a while, but since we tentatively plan to leave in January, I’m wondering if Iceland is the right pick for our first stop. Long nights, very cold…. hmmm.
We also chose Italy, then Macedonia, then Russia where we would hop onto the Trans-Siberian Railway and make our way to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. From there we would fly to New Zealand, then hop over to Hawaii for a week or two before going to Chile and then back to New York.
Sounds like a good antidote for the ‘my friends all went to high school blues’ doesn’t it?