She gets up when it’s already clear outside; she comes in the room where I’m working. It is the time of day I love the most: I feel the pitpat of her bare feet on the floor, she appears with her messy hair, her eyes narrowed to defend them by the artificial light, she’s scratching her nose, her little mouth pouting. Goodmorning love!
I say how are you? She runs towards me, hugs me, lays her head in the crook of my neck, we cuddle for a while. She’s growing up fast and one day she won’t want to cuddle anymore… I cast out the thought and enjoy this moment.
She prepares her breakfast, as usual. She eats slowly, remaining pensive for a while.
She takes the guitar – which she cannot play – and strums in some way while singing a famous song but with her own funny words and rhymes. The “music and poetry lesson” proceeds in some way.
Then she decides it’s time to devote to the kitchen and take her cookbook, the one with the recipes taken from famous tales, she checks the recipes that she likes more, reads the ingredients list and check if we have everything she needs. I explain again all about grams.
When she’s done she puts her favorite doll in a basket and plays for a few minutes before putting it down.
Meanwhile we chat, I sometimes ask her to wait, because I need to concentrate on my work and I remind her that she has to work a little too.
What do we do?
She takes her exercise book on which she has not written anything since before Christmas and writes the title: THE WEEK.
Then she starts writing: the first day of the week is Monday and I do acrobatic dance. She draws herself doing the bridge with her frinds, she intends to write her favorite activities for the week. She pauses a hundred times, looks out the window, daydreaming. At school she would have used some printed worksheets but I think it’s much nicer if she writes everything herself, title, writings, drawings.
I picture her in a classroom and smile because I was like her, a dreamer who is easily distracted. Being homeschooled allows her to stop when she needs a break. It’s time to do some maths, she starts doing some subtractions on her book but soon she begins to formulate problems: If I order three cabinets at IKEA and they do not deliver them, how many cabinet will I have? ZERO! And if I buy 13 apples and while walking home I eat them all, how many are left? ZERO! But if I eat only ten then I will have three.
While she works on her subtractions she plays with our kitten, she is six months old and full of life, just like my girl.
Meanwhile, I work, I answer her (MANY) questions, I forget to look at the time and at some point we realize that we are hungry so we prepare something quick together. After lunch we do some cleaning, she has her own chores such as clearing the table, loading the washing machine, sweeping, washing cups and glasses, put away her toys… We are a family so everyone – male or female, big or little -must contribute.
It’s time to read something; she takes out her book and practice her reading, then I read something aloud. The fact that now she can read doesn’t mean I will not read to her anymore, it’s a special moment for us.
Then she gets dressed, prepares everything she needs for her dance class. Today is Monday, her favorite day because she has acrobatic dance. We still have some time to watch a cartoon before going out; when we arrive at the school she joins her friends and they laugh, play, chase each other while they wait for the lesson to begin. While I wait for her I chat with the other parents and grandparents. When we get home she is happy and tired, we prepare dinner while we wait for dad to come home from work, we take our dog – Arya – for a walk, we talk, we read or watch a TV show.
Our day is not too different from that of many other children: Sveva has to do her “homework”, I work, sometimes we fight.
The main difference lies in the freedom she has. Freedom is great but she must learn to make good use of it: she gets up in the morning when she is ready to wake up, she eats when he is hungry, she can relax when she needs, she takes frequent breaks, she can think without feeling any pressure or fearing she could get a bad mark, she can listen to some music and have a hug whenever she needs it.
But this does not mean that she doesn’t have duties and responsibilities: she must learn to be responsible for herself and study to get an education. She’s a girl and she can become WHATEVER she wants but she must work hard like anyone else.
Our homeschooling will end in August when she will start going to school; we’re moving to another country and it won’t be possibile to homeschool there. But I’m sure we both will treasure this year at home forever!