Sometimes I’m hard on myself for failing to live up to the picture perfect version of home education that lives on the pages of wholesome American homeschool magazines and unschooling literature. Fortunately, the corollary is also true: other days my intrinsic pleasure in the lovely things we do increases exponentially when it occurs to me that – on this day at least – we could be that happy family on the pages of Home Education Magazine. I’ve also realised that home educating two children offers far more of the latter kind of opportunties simply because more stuff gets done, so there’s more chance of the “wholesome” stuff getting a look in. Perhaps as we go on and these kind of activities become the norm, the novelty will wear off and I’ll stop viewing our lives through the filter of an imaginary magazine article. Then again, perhaps it’s less about how we look from the outside, and more about the thrill of living the kind of life I’ve long dreamed of.
Today’s highlight was C (7) deciding to learn to sew (inspired by Grandma’s generous and thoughtful Christmas present of a sewing machine), which involved both of us learning how to thread the sewing machine and C creating a beautiful “waiter’s pinny” from an old tea towel, complete with pocket which she hemmed, pinned, tacked and machine attached, and two decorative buttons, which she learned how to attach herself by finding and watching a You Tube clip. I felt so much appreciation, for both of us – for C’s joyful inspiration, enthusiastic action and wonderful creativity, and for me for overcoming a 28 year old fear of threading a sewing machine and 40 years of perfectionism. And I like to think of Nanna Leo enjoying the use of her old antimacassars as waiter pinny pockets.