Tuesday, 23 August 2011

One more time to the woods

I had the question again. A 'Human Resources Manager' who couldn't think how education out of school might function. She feared there were no timetabled hours, no constructed social events, no designated holidays, no planned team-building exercises.

'But how do you make it possible for your children to meet other people?' she asked, and the frown line came down between her brows like a pin.

I wondered if she would think I was being deliberately awkward when I answered, 'Well, today we're meeting at the woods with some other home ed families and the kids play.'

She stared at me a moment, then turned away, as if this was an idea she couldn't take on in the last few days of a busy holiday she'd planned for her family.

We've spent hours at the woods this summer. I've remembered, if I'd forgotten, how we are surrounded by woodland; how much the kids enjoy being here, losing sight of us lumbering adults, skirting danger, tracking back to surprise us, just when we wondered if they were lost. The play takes hours. I never ask what went on.

But because it was almost sure to be our last time this summer, Shark, Squirrel and Tiger asked to stay on, after everyone else went home, to experience those rope swings a few more times.

Of course I said yes, because we don't have a set time for supper, and I enjoy sitting under the trees, watching them sway in the wind, listening to their rattling talk and their creaking laughter.