Thursday, August 14, 2008

Playing School

I always find it amusing that my two younger children, who have always been homeschooled, like to play school. Last year Laurel even saved up $50 to buy a Let's Play School kit, which includes everything from a bell to spelling lists to a reward jar filled with small plastic toys. What I find amazing is that they know how to play school. Laurel is always the teacher, and I must say she is a fantastic one. She is kind but firm and senses when it time to shift gears (most of the time) before her student, Duncan, gets fidgety and bored and, well, leaves. She follows a particular order, which begins with basics like the calendar, and even assigns homework. Today Duncan even brought me a permission slip to sign so that he can go on a field trip to the Exhibit of Dinosaurs on August 18. The note home also reminded him to bring something for Show and Tell tomorrow—but "no live pets."

The question begs to be asked: do my kids want to go to school? (I ask them this purely out of curiousity; we would not send our children to school at this age.)

"No way!" they assure me. They are curious, but they understand that school isn't all tidy spelling tests and reward charts. Their version of school is a quaint mix of "Little House on the Prairie" and Ramona Quimby. They like their life at home. They know they have a sweet and unfettered childhood—that they can close their bedroom doors at anytime and have periods of quiet in which to play, that they can run out to the garden to check on the tomatoes or ride their bikes.

Still, there some things that attract them about going to school. Last year we actually went out to buy "school clothes." This year, they are fascinated with school lunches. Today we are heading over to Target to buy lunchboxes, which I will be packing for them each day, at least for awhile until the novelty wears off. Laurel already has planned what I'll be putting in the lunches: sandwiches, bags of chips, Little Debbie snack cakes, fruit, carrot sticks, perhaps a thermos of soup.

I am happy to acquiesce in these small ways: clothes, lunch boxes, new pencils and notebooks. I love that they get the accessories of public school but the joy of being at home.


  1. I know what you mean! My girls still play "Little House on the Prairie" and love having the freedom to check on our veggies, watch the hummingbirds on the porch, etc. but they can still get new school supplies, pack a lunch, go on field trips, etc. It's the best of both worlds!:-)

  2. LOL, we have lunchboxes, too, that come out about once a month. And when the crew was younger, they had to pretend to catch the bus in the morning and run laps around the house as they "rode" to school. They also called me "Miss Honey" during the school day and "Miss Cook" at lunch time.

  3. My kids play school to :) To funny about the lunch boxes *grin* mine are always fascinated with all of the school isle goodies but most of it we never buy. Have fun packing lunches!
    Thanks for stopping by to enter the contest to :) I added your new blog to my reader a while back so that I could keep up with what's new here to :) Have a fantastic weekend!

  4. My kids like to play school too- especially my oldest dd. And this year I did buy them lunch boxes, so we could take them when we went out for the day. and you would have thought I hung the moon- they were sooo excited! Who knew a lunch box was so great? LOL


  5. I think it is wonderful that you are willing to 'play along' and do things like pack lunches in lunch boxes for the kids. I would love to have been homeschooled, but that is the sort of thing I would have missed and wanted to incorporate into my days at home. I probably would have even planned a uniform (although I never had one in private or public school). I don't know what my boys will be interested in, but I hope I'm game to play along. :)

  6. My kids love playing school, too. And those lunch boxes can be handy. We live kinda far from town, so any errands takes quite awhile. So we pack snacks or lunches and everyone has their own lunch box. It is great!

  7. My kids (2, 4 and 5) base their "playing school" on what they see/get in Sunday school. That's their only experience with being taught at.

    I was *delighted* to hear my 5-y-o tell me this week that she's "not ready" to go away to school. She had been so enamored with the first day of school (e.g. Oliver Pig, Sesame street) aura that she wasn't listening when I said she wouldn't be going away.

    So to hear her *say* she didn't want to was nice for my psyche.

    I admit I do want to do the "lunch box" thing myself, but I'm so bad at actually making good packable lunches (and refuse to buy little overpriced packages of things) I'm not bringing up the idea myself.

    But I'll be talked into it really easily if they ask and just figure it out as I go along.


I love comments! Thanks for taking the time to leave one. I have comment moderation on, so your comment will take a little bit to appear.