I’ll try not to bury the lede on this post. I recently added a section up top in the menu for other DC homeschoolers. There seem to be so many more now than ever before so I gathered some of the resources I’m aware of and listed them there. In particular, we just navigated the process of getting free transit cards for the kids so they can take the bus solo around the city and the city’s explanation for how that works left a little to be desired so I thought a blow by blow meant for kids whose cards wouldn’t be set up for them at their boundary school was perhaps a useful resource.
But beyond that, I thought I’d just take a moment to appreciate how much we love life in the city. I have often shared a story from many years ago when I was on a road trip with the boys. Because we took a side trip to Okefenokee and then took back roads to get to our second family stop in north Georgia, we ended up passing through more small towns than I can count. I was pleased to see how many cute small town downtowns were being revived. “Look!” I kept saying to the kids, “Look what a cute town!” Also, since we were out in the country a lot, I said things like, “Oh, look at the pecan groves! Look at the wildlife! Isn’t it great?” Uh-huh. When we finally pulled into Atlanta and went in search of parking to go to the aquarium, Mushroom said to me, obviously mimicking my words, “Look! Look at all the buildings! Isn’t this cute? Isn’t this great?” His relaxation at finally being somewhere that seemed “normal” was palpable. DC isn’t exactly a city of tall buildings, but the feeling of “urban” was obviously home.
I think there’s an impression of homeschoolers that we’re all homesteading, do it yourself types, making our own soap or canning our own vegetables. Interestingly, I grew up a lot more like that, but I always remember the sense of enriched cultural life when I visited my grandparents’ home in New Orleans and I longed for that when I grew up. Obviously, the small farm types are one model of the homeschool life. However, we urbanites are a growing homeschool group too.
City life makes homeschooling easy in some ways. Museums, buses, millions of classes and opportunities… The number of things at our fingertips at any moment is mind boggling. I love that we have this opportunity to utilize all those resources. And I love the way that my kids feel comfortable with subways and buses and busy street crossings. Sometimes they take for granted a little bit that everyone has access to world class art museums and performances and the option of a million different classes, but mostly they are so confident with the city. It’s beautiful to see. And, of course, if we need a nature outing, there’s always Rock Creek Park.