If there were any lingering doubts that the number of homeschoolers is on a rapid increase, they were smashed today at the annual NYCHEA Not Back to School Picnic in Central Park. We’ve been coming to these picnics since Maya was 4 years old, and this one had the biggest turnout by far.
My guess is between 300-400 people attended over the course of the afternoon (kids and parents), including more new homeschoolers than I’ve ever met at a picnic before. These included families with teens and families with young kids, many in their first weeks of learning outside of school and in the throes of de-schooling. They mixed and mingled with us “old-timers” – families whose kids have never been to school or for whom school is only a distant memory.
Each year at the picnic, my faith in humanity is basically restored. Homeschoolers and unschoolers of all colors, religions and backgrounds spend a glorious afternoon in the park whether meeting for the first time, getting re-acquainted or falling into massive hugs after a summer spent pursuing separate adventures. Like any close knit community we have our differences, but today they were all set aside.
Today was a celebration.
Happy Not Back to School, Everyone!