The decision to keep LucyLearnsALot out of school for the next year was not an easy one. Or one that we even got to make without a degree of coersion. We felt strongly that she was ready to join her friends in a structured class environment and to learn things beyond what we've been teaching at home, but unfortunately the school system disagreed.
In short, we live too far away from work to send her to school near our house, but the schools near our work won't even consider taking her. Faced with this flagrant lack of cooperation, we did what any sane parent would do: we decided to homeschool and built our own curriculum.
Oh, I mean insane. Insane parents do that.
Sure, parents homeschool all the time. Parents who are actually home to parent. Moms and dads that aren't out of the house for about 60 hours every week. If you think about it mathmatically, though, one week is comprised of 168 hours, so 60 is not really that much. Who needs sleep anyway, AMIRIGHT?
Over the last month-ish, I've been slowly piecing together a series of lesson plans. As I go along, I've become more at peace with the idea of teaching her myself, since I like the idea of an element of exploratory self-guided discovery as a part of a learning agenda. I am totally ready for this.
Until I got to the first lesson: death.
Lucy like to play roughly with her brother. She likes to sit on him and put various things around his neck: her hands, cords, blankets, etc. We have to watch them carefully while they're playing and strip them of anything that can be used as a garrote while they're playing unsupervised.
I'm a lot like a prison guard. I might put that on my resume.
The other day when Lucy grabbed her little brother by the neck and threw him into the couch, I'd had enough. She took a nice, long time out and we had a hard discussion about what happens to her brother when she puts her hands around his neck. It ended when I told her that when her brother can't breathe for too long, then he would go away forever and she would never see him again. I didn't stop describing the finality of choking her brother until she was bawling.
Later that same night, we were exploring some information that she wanted to know about seahorses. For some reason, this has become her favorite animal (this week). One of the videos we watched showed a seahorse having babies. It was my opportunity to explain to her how the male seahorses are the ones who have babies, which is different from other animals.
She was so fascinated that she wanted to watch an elephant have a baby too. And fish. And bunnies. And dogs.
We talked a lot that night about how some animals grow babies in their tummies and eventually push them out of their vagina (hiply referred to in my house as the 'gina) and other animals lay eggs that the babies grown in and then hatch from.
Our night of fun ended when she asked, "How you put babies in the mama?"
I bailed on that answer. I figured I'd already covered life and death in a matter of just a couple of hours. Sex can wait.