Monday, May 18, 2020

Worldschooling dreams and realities.

The Falls of the Ohio, Louisville skyline
I've always dreamed of worldschooling. I've also been really hesitant of it because I'm a big believer in pubic schools -- for so many reasons. But with pandemic, I've discovered I'm in the minority of parents out there: having the kids home has actually been working really well for us.

I think it's related to my job and the fact that I solo parent 4 days a week. Even now that David isn't traveling, he's still working 14-16 hr days (the poor guy!). Since my job schedule has never been 9-5 and has always been unpredictable, it's been really nice to not have to get a kid to a bus stop or pick him up at a specific time. I'm not doing carpool for preschool, but I am playing Baby Pet Cobra this morning. (I'm currently a Mommy Cobra who needed some alone time.)

Worldschooling is a newer buzzword, and I sort of always assumed it was just for the independently wealthy ... the type of family who just buys an RV with the trust fund and makes a living off YouTube videos of their adventures. (Please note the envy in my tone there: I would both love a trust fund and a solid YouTube channel.)

I swear you will feel SO GOOD if you just click here and become a Patron, and I'll even send you a handwritten thank you.

Last summer one day I was hiking in Switzerland behind an ancient Abbey, while David explained irrigation systems to Graham and I birdwatched with Angus and I just had this complete joy of teaching the children about the world. And I realized I was worldschooling. On that hike, the kids learned of species, of kingdoms, or scientific classifications. They learned the Swiss German word for "badger" and how to tell which firewood was older and which was more recently cut. They learned about religion (not my bag, but I treat it as anthropology) because the hike followed The Stations of the Cross which was kinda like an English and History lesson in narrative structure, the mystical number of seven, which we tied into a Harry Potter conversation, and just WOW!

The joy that I felt at being with my kids was so different than the stressful days of "gotta get to swim practice and memorize your audition and practice piano" all in the 60 minutes a day that I actually see my child because I'm gigging at night and school takes up nine hours of your day and you've already read Harry Potter seven and you're only in first grade so surely a few years of traveling around and visiting national parks and learning algebra while baking cookies wouldn't ruin you!
Fossil-hunting at the Falls of the Ohio!

We left the house this weekend. We've been in severe lockdown, but we got in the car (we stupidly purchased a car  JUST before pandemic, after being 8.5 years car-free) and went to a Historic State Park: The Falls of the Ohio, where we hunted fossils, talked of locks and hydraulics and engineering and geology and time and government offices and following directions and general joy emerged. The joy of learning and of being together.

I put the kids to bed eventually, and then got my work done. Because my work is night work anyway. I know it doesn't work for most, but the public school schedule is an awful thing to have to adhere to when you're a self-employed second-shift worker.

I think I could get used to this.

Grateful to be in the minority here, but reminding myself that my work has merit. It's brought a smile to at least a hundred thousand people, according to YouTube views (for which I'm not getting paid!).

I swear you will feel SO GOOD if you just click here and become a Patron, and I'll even send you a handwritten thank you.

Even though I'm not getting paid now (unemployment hasn't come through, and I've been creating unpaid content and recordings for so many organizations and other creators), I'm still busy creating. I'm creating things that bring YOU joy, like these things I've done (for free) over the past month. My only income is Patreon, and I PLEASE urge you, if you're still here, to just take a minute and join my Patreon. Here's what I've done -- again: FOR FREE!

This video, with Jim James, Will Oldham, Teddy Abrams, Carly Johnson, Jecorey Arthur, Cheyenne Mize, Sam Bush, Michael Cleveland, and, as i am so often credited: "many more" :) (I actually get credit on Spotify for this, which is cool!)

Here's me creating something to bring joy to YOU:

Here's me reading a story to your kids! For The Courier Journal/Gannett/USAToday:

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