We showed the house on Saturday. The girls helped clean out the house. We dispensed of a TV, the microwave, and several bags of clothes and toys. As Paul and I carted away all of the unwanted itsms, we wondered, what are we going to do?

Ingrid turned nine on the 3rd. She had a slumber party on Saturday night. My Little-Big-Blue-Eyes is growing up. Just this summer, we came home to her pretending to go fishing from the back of the truck and organizing Dagne and her friend, Norah, on an expedition. Now, I wonder if school has schooled all the make-believe out of her. Perhaps it isn’t the school’s fault . Maybe it’s just the growing up.

It seems kids are losing the desire to pretend sooner and sooner and yet growing up later and later. I wish the girls were swinging in the hammock again and whipping up a new outfit for whoever they’re going to be for the day. And they don’t sing as much anymore. I used to work around the house amidst incessant singing.

There’s more tears and fights than I’ve ever experienced in my years of homeschooling. We have less time together, and yet the time we do have together is full of discord.

I believe people must look at their present situation with their children: fighting, arguing, petty discussions, whining, crying, and a general unhappiness, and they think, I would never want to homeschool … I’d have eight hours of this! But they don’t understand that it’s the going and the going and the homework and the clamoring for attention at school or the aversion to attention at school that might be the problem. That if they had  their kids home all day, the fighting diminishes, and the arguments become teachable moments. A lot of parents associate their summer to what it would be like to homeschooling, and again, come up against a misconception. Homeschooling isn’t like summer vacation — although the two should become more like each other. The school schedule could add a little more time outside and the summer schedule could use a little more teaching. But the summer is where kids are left to themselves — as they should be and would produce so many more positive results if their fall, winter, and spring are filled with heroes and villains from the Great Stories of the World.

Instead, it’s inane reading from curriculum writers — people I’m convinced have lost their souls eons ago.

I’m so ready to pull them. This week, however, I have four days of work — something I am thankful for when I have my financial cap on. My mothering cap is getting dusty in the corner. My chauffer cap I never take off. I wish I could wear my mothering cap again.

I hope that Ingrid turning nine doesn’t put the lovely game of pretend to rest.