Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Unschool Grad

We went back and forth on the subject of hosting an event for Evie... we were getting so many invitations to high school graduations, and we finally decided we wanted to do something special to mark the occassion, as well. She's 18 now. Technically, an adult. She's got her voter registration card. And she's all enrolled for college, which is a whole new kind of adventure. It will be her first experience (aside from a class she took this past spring) in a traditional school setting.

Thus was created the Simmons Family Unschool Ziggurat's Class of 2014. We called it a celebration of Evie and we had a wonderful time. I'm not always keen on crowds, but I think everyone should make an opportunity or two in a lifetime to gather the important people in your life in one place. The whole event just filled me up with love and happiness. I think the rest of the family felt the same.

Here is what I said to welcome those who came:

Welcome everyone to the first, and possibly only, celebration of the Simmons Family Unschool Ziggurat. I say only because, as we are all well aware by now, our three children are very different people and I suspect that Maddie and Kaman, at the very least, will come up with their own name for their own unique experience when the time comes.
Eighteen years ago our midwife shared words with us that began the unfolding of an amazing journey. Children, she said, from that first wobbly raise of the head when they are babies, are striving for independence. Our job as parents is to allow it. It seemed as good a philosophy to follow as any. Allow. Support. Explore with. Delight in. Honor. And respect this individual who so quickly became a central part of our lives. 
Evie became our very first test subject in the job of parenting, and all of you became partners with our family on this journey. You each helped to open our world to new and different experiences. You shared your wisdom. You shared your resources. You joined us on long travels across the country. You joined us on short trips down the road for work, for play, for exploring, or just for walking and talking. You shared your backyards and your houses for play dates and parties. You read books with us. You worked with us. You learned with us. You loved with us and experienced loss with us. 
We are so glad to have you here today to celebrate with us.

We invited all the kids to come forward and stand with Evie as we presented her with our own brand of diploma. Several of them were not actually kids anymore, but we wanted all of those she has grown up with to be a part of the ceremony. She was surrounded by cousins and friends. 

Middle Munchkin (Maddie) and I had a great time desiging the certificate. It was wordy as heck, but I think I managed to say everything we wanted to say. 

From Evie's "Certificate of Confidence":

that her Pursuits, Passions and Choices will continue to take her upon her chosen road, or perhaps just to places worthy of Exploration, Inspiration, and Just Plain Fun, even if just for the moment, as she sees fit and worthy.

... and we had cake!

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