...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


forecast: rain with a chance of confusion

I sometimes wonder if sending Ava to a Mother's Day Out program twice a week is the right thing for her. She'll watch PBS, ride her bike around the family room, or play in the front yard until we're ready to let go... in other words, class started, and we're late!



As I pull her away towards the car, she says, "I don't want to go to school."

Oh boy. Already? Really?

Part of me wants to say out loud, you don't have to. In fact, let's play longer. You're getting so good at catching the soccer ball by yourself. Let's try again.

But instead I say, "Ava, you have to go to school. Your teachers are waiting for you - and so are your friends. Don't you want to go play with them?"

She thinks about it, and some days, I get a flat "no." Other days I get a smile, and she skips towards the car. This tease makes me anxious. Like the incident the other day...

Teacher: [notices embroidery on Ava's dress] I see triangles on your dress. Remember we learned that last week? What shape is this?

Ava: Square.

Teacher: That's right - good job.

Ava, you're soo good at your shapes. You were talking about your planets this morning. Want to share with your teacher?

Ava: [whispering]
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. And those are my planets.

Asst. School Director standing by: Wow. I don't even know all my planets.

Me thinking: I'm in trouble here.

Either way - the storm clouds are brewing over my head, and I can't see through the fog right now to make a decision. If I pull her out, would she miss out on cupcakes or girlfriends to hula hoop with? And if I keep her in, will she hold herself back or come home with [gulp] cut-out paper triangles instead of dioramas of pyramids? Not challenging herself... getting lost in 9 other children's worlds - instead of her own?

With the pressure of waiting lists, application fees, and simply not knowing "enough" in seconds about everything out there [montessori? private? homeschool?.... unschool?] I'm afraid I'll keep taking her to this program. Until one day, maybe a lot like today... when the rain just fell on us unexpectedly and instead of running straight for cover, we had fun getting a little wet outside.


Noah on the other hand, made it quite clear to us that the program wasn't for him from the beginning. And I regret that there was a trial period to verify what my gut had been telling me all along. But that's how it happened - and I'm one step closer to understanding Noah's unique growth for discovery and playfulness to experience the world as he sees it, rain or shine...

Getting a little dirty


  1. Ava's face on the pic with dad and the soccer ball is one of my absolute favorite pics - her happiness captured is priceless - and I guess for a child at her age - being in a classroom with friends or in the living room with mom and dad - what matters most is the moments that give her happiness and in reality she has the balance of both worlds where both fun and learning is around.

  2. Me too! Aaron was throwing the soccer ball on the roof, and letting it tumble down for a "surprise" catch. She loved it.

    You're right about all these moments - that's the only wish and will I have for Ava & Noah.

    I wish I could see into the future to know for sure whether or not a program like the Mother's Day Out will impact her in anyway.

    I have my moments of doubt. I have my moments of assurance. But most of all, I have Ava's patience with us - to let us figure it out for her.

    Give my kisses to your bambinos!

  3. i was once very much looking forward to when my kid goes off to school. then i read john holt's *learning all the time* and it totally shook up my beliefs on schooling. now i'm very much looking forward to our journey in life together, learning as we go.

    of course that's just my perspective - it doesn't make me right or wrong. it can be so hard to figure out the "best" way - if it's even possible. it can make you neurotic (me anyway)!

    best of luck with whatever your family decides.

  4. Thank you for your comment Springtree - from one Mom to another - I REALLY appreciate your insight on the learning journey this has been for you.

    Do you recommend Holt's book? It looks like from your blog that you have a favorite quote from him too ;)

    I will go out and get this - because I can't seem to rest until I know for sure... if where Ava is now is right for her. If there's anything that stresses me out in life - it's this! I feel as though ultimately, what we decide for our kids, will shape their future. That's such a privilege! I want to be sure I know everything that's out there - so that at least we have the opportunity to try, rule it out, and say, we found what's best...

    I'd love to learn more about what you've decided for your family...

    Thanks again for finding this and sharing your thoughts with me today...
    Also neurotic - Zarlacht


Thanks for sharing - I will respond to your comment here as well so check back! xo


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