Sappy Reminiscing

Well, I did it. I dropped my beloved boys off at their respective colleges last week, and the house seems so empty without them!

I’ve been homeschooling those two from the very beginning, and it hardly seems possible that it’s all over. Since I can’t very well think of anything else lately, I felt compelled to brainstorm a list of memories we’ve shared over the last 20 years:

  • Reading Mother Goose rhymes in the rocking chair
  • Rides around the living room in the laundry basket
  • Playing pirate at the playground

  • Toy trains, “There Goes a Train!” video
  • Reading countless picture books on the couch
  • Dancing to “Big Bad Voodoo Daddy”
  • Catching slugs to feed the ducks
  • Climbing the plum tree to feast on plums
  • “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons”
  • Pokemon cards
  • Bonfires by the pond
  • Reading books outside on a blanket
  • Building a cardboard model of a Viking ship.
  • Homeschool playgroup
  • Playing “Twenty Questions”
  • Making waffles
  • Whole family in one 3-seat kayak
  • Making Halloween costumes: koala bear, dragon, computer, robot, pokemon, alien
  • Endless books about snakes
  • Playing “Pooh Sticks” on the foot bridge
  • Goosebumps and Berenstein Bears
  • Sculpey dinosaur and monster creations

  • Falling asleep to Jim Weiss story tapes
  • Highland dancing
  • Collecting pond muck to feed the tadpoles
  • Lego Star Wars
  • Reader Rabbit, Freddie Fish, Pajama Sam
  • Planting giant sunflowers, gourds, and pole bean teepees

  • Trips to every art, science, or history museum we could find
  • Weekly trips to the library
  • Books-on-tape in the car
  • Writing thank-you letters
  • Valentines Day riddle hunts
  • Our family’s “Almost Peak” club (hiking and letterboxing)
  • Reenacting the story of Perseus, complete with Medusa mask
  • Exploring tidepools
  • Playing barefoot with neighborhood kids
  • Skateboarding
  • Yu-Gi-Oh cards
  • Swim team and tennis lessons
  • Night snorkeling in Hanauma Bay
  • Reading aloud history and economics books
  • Paper mache African masks
  • Computer games

  • Chess club
  • Standup paddleboarding in Kailua Bay
  • Kajukenbo
  • Weight-lifting at the Marine Corps Base
  • Jr. Golf Tournaments
  • Surfing with dad
  • Shakespeare obsession
  • Memorizing poetry
  • Theatre and fiddle lessons

  • “Myth and the Movies” study group
  • Wild West mystery party
  • Computer programming
  • Manga and Anime
  • Community College chemistry and English
  • Rock climbing followed by sunset appreciation with friends on the beach

  • Learning German
  • Trip to Grand Canyon and Zion
  • Studying for SAT
  • Playing “Apples to Apples,” “Risk,” “Take-Off,” “Mad Dash,” “Blokus,” and “Mastermind”
  • Driving lessons
  • Full time community college
  • Work
  • Voice and drumming lessons
  • Pirates of Penzance, Hairspray, A Christmas Carol
  • Halloween corn maze

  • Lots of conversation about politics, ethics, world-view, energy policy, technology, science, and current events
  • Putting together college applications
  • Writing essays
  • Independent projects (writing and programming)
  • Building web sites
  • Work, work, work
  • Watching Stargate Atlantis, Merlin, and Jericho
  • Following Reddit, Lifehacker, Wired magazine
  • Guild Wars, Minecraft, and League of Legends
  • Making YouTube videos
  • Setting up personal finances
  • Frisbee golf
  • Opera singing and drum riffs at all hours

It’s been a good time. Though I’m feeling a little sad and nostalgic, I know that all is as it should be. Fortunately, I have a ton of stuff to keep me busy, so I’m not wandering around wondering what to do with myself. Life is good.

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3 Responses

  1. Hwee says:

    Wow, what a great treasure chest full of memories! Thank you for sharing them.

  2. Phil Layton says:


    I am considering homeschooling for my daughter who is nearly two. I am doing lots of research and took the plunge with your book (there were no reader comments). That was two days, read it constantly till the end and it has inspired me even more, I loved it!

    Well written, very positive and fresh.

    Thank you
    Phil (England)

    • Jamie McMillin says:

      Hi Phil,
      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Good for you doing all your research so early – it’s like giving yourself a course in Early Childhood Education. There’s a lot of different homeschooling styles out there, so it might seem a bit confusing choosing which way to go, but trust yourself – and trust your daughter – and all will be well.

      You mentioned there were no reader comments when you bought the book. If you have the time, would you mind posting comments wherever you bought the book (I’m guessing Amazon)? I would really appreciate it!

      Best Wishes,