A Magazine about the Hudson Valley’s local economy, published by Hudson Valley Current.

Taking the Helm

by: David Dewitt

Our brief summer vacation is a memory now.

Always too short.

A few days is barely enough to catch one’s breath.

This year we met up with Erin’s family on a little Island in Lake Erie.

The fact that the island was on the Canadian side made the trip a little more exciting.

The house we rented was right on the beach. The water was calm and shallow so the parents could relax on the sand without being on edge about sudden waves. The largest ones were an inch or two high. It was calming for all.

The cousins fell instantly into their rhythm, building sand castles, splashing and playing made-up beach games they never seemed to tire of.

Evenings were full of board games and adults in conversation until the wee hours. Eventually the kids went to bed exhausted.

I noticed Finn mimicking his older cousins, acting more mature. A few times when I tried to help him with things with which he normally required assistance, he stopped me. “I got this”, he would say.

He spent so much time interacting with the cousins that the endless stream of questions we’ve become accustomed to answering from him diminished substantially for those few days.

Having a little time to sit and relax, I found myself thinking about the coming year of homeschooling and the unknown challenges that lie ahead.

Homeschooling is not uncharted territory. Just untravelled for us. We’ll be on the journey together, drawing from the experiences of others and creating a unique experience.

The Ferry ride to and from the island was a first for Finn. To be on a boat in the middle of the water with no land in sight for part of the journey, was something he had never experienced.

He wanted to spend most of the two hour ride standing at the bow of the boat. He couldn’t get enough of the wind in his hair.

Once we were back home, Finn’s steady flow of questions resumed precisely at the moment that I was in the bathroom:

Finn: (knocking on the bathroom door) “Daddoo I need to ask you…”

Me: “I’ll be out in a minute.”

Finn: “I just need to ask you something!”

Me: “Ok what is it?”

Finn: “Is Venus made mostly of carbon dioxide?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Finn: “Yes, I think it is.”

Me: “Ok”

Finn: “And that’s not good if we want to LAND on it, right?”

Me: “I think you’re probably right.”

Finn: “Do you know the other thing about Venus?”

Me: “What’s that?

Finn: “It will definitely melt cheese. And that’s BAD news.” (He walks away)

Yes, homeschooling may present many challenges. But I’m counting on the insights to balance things out.