I've been meaning for the last couple of weeks to start a new series of blog posts, but I haven't been able to sit down and pound any of them out because I can't quite figure out what the structure of the series. So let me tell you what I'm thinking, and maybe a pattern will emerge.
I've wanted to write for a long time about the co-schooling that I do with Hannah and Melissa -- how we organize it, how we set it up, the foundation of relationships out of which it grew, the parts that are organic and accidental and the parts that are deliberately designed. I would like to help more homeschoolers figure out how to make co-schooling work for them, if they want to, although I'm reluctant to lay out a step-by-step plan -- my situation might be impossible for many folks to duplicate. Perhaps the best I can do is describe our situation and maybe inspire a vision of possibilities, or throw out a few ideas.
I talked with a (different) friend over the weekend about how such a series of posts might work best. Normally (as with my series on weight loss and the one on exercise) I find it easy to write chronologically forward: first I did this, then I did this, then I did this, and so on. But that doesn't seem like the right approach here.
For one thing, though we didn't know it at the time, it was more than nine years ago that Hannah and I laid the foundations for our twice-weekly co-school days. I wouldn't want to begin my instructions with "First, when your first child is four months old, find a friend who also has her first child..." I'd like to write something that's useful for folks who already have school-age children, even those who are well established in their own comfortable school routines.
For another thing, it will be a more challenging and interesting series to write. The proof of this is that I have not written it yet.
So I'm thinking about writing from now backwards, instead of from the beginning forwards. Or perhaps writing on a sort of day-by-day basis about what we're up to now, and incidentally explaining how we got to where we are. That seems too loose for my taste, though.
I can tell already that there are two very separate and important aspects of the partnership: how to arrange the school plans so that they mesh together, and how we have cultured our families so that they can, well, live together over the course of a weekday, and over the years as the families grow A third interesting aspect has been how, as our families' importance to each other has grown, the individual families have started to shape or plans and habits -- schoolwise and otherwise -- around each other. There's an element of luck, or maybe providence, in how it's played out. But there have also been deliberate decisions, some that turned out well, some not so well.
Let me know in the comments if there are any especially interesting questions you would like to read about, and I'll see if I can hash out an outline over the next few days.