This is Josie. The former 18-month-old. Remember when the site started and she was that little? Yeah, I barely can, either.

It had to happen some time. Josie (who's just turned 16 if you can believe it) is in college. She's been accepted into a scholarship program at the local community college that allows kids to earn their high school diplomas (not GEDs) and earn college credits at the same time.

It's a little traumatic for her; she's never been in "real" school a day in her life, and the testing process was completely alien. But the program has a lot of academic coaching, including a class on how to take tests. (Yes, this is why we homeschooled. :P )

So here, finally, is her first day of school photo, age 16, wearing a polar bear hat, as one does. She's the only homeschooler in the group and is already in this first week known as "Josie, that homeschooled kid in the bear hat." Today, the bear is wearing goggles.

Geez, I love that kid.

When you unschool, you take your educational opportunities where you can find them, and usually they're everywhere. Sometimes they're lessons learned the semi-hard way.

This morning, Louisa (just turned 11) announced she WAS going to have a lemonade stand. We'd discussed this before--you have to get lemons or Koolaid, ice, cups and so on. "I'll ride down to the store, Mom, if you give me the money." So off she went.

She came back with pre-made foo-foo lemonade--$1 per 16 oz bottle--and expensive gluten-free cookies. A nice touch, but at $5/bag for about 40 cookies, not so economical. And she forgot the ice. Luckily we have some in the freezer downstairs. She spent all the money I had in my wallet--$15. *headdesk*

The lesson commenced. How much per serving was this going to cost? After a few demonstrations, we figured out that a serving would cost 25 cents if she were generous with the ice, and that she'd have to charge 50 cents to make a profit. Two small cookies would also be 50 cents retail.

And then, before I could stop or help her, she had the stand set up. Again, no ice, no cooler, no change, no water for herself, and no shade. I decided I'd just be late for my appointment, got a cooler and ice, made her get her parasol and her water bottle. She's out there bravely hawking her wares:

So far I think she's made four bucks, but school's not out and the evening bike commute hasn't commenced. She may fare better after four. Either way, she's learned more about supply, demand, retail/wholesale and measurements than she knew she was in for, and that's priceless.

Conquering the Homeschool Invasion

It begins to creep in slowly and then seems to overtake you--stacks of books, math manipulatives in the bathtub, colored pencils in the silverware drawer. And the papers...ALL of the papers. Your kitchen begins to look like a mad scientist invaded it and you can't find the door to the fridge because of the layers of Art Projects and A+++ reports on "Birds of Prey." (Thank heavens they outgrew that topic!)

If you are realizing it's time for all out warfare on the Homeschool House Invasion, you may be looking for some ideas on where to begin and how to reclaim your house.

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