béla’s homeschool birthday

I had been worried last February, that Claudia’s ninth birthday — our first homeschool birthday — would feel somehow lesser. We are not a family that does (or enjoys) parties very much. Last year, Claude had taken a cake to Brownies, and she also made Big Mama Thornton cupcakes for the Blues show rehearsals at School of Rock, and we had family celebrations and were perfectly happy.

Béla’s birthday was this past Friday. He chose going to Swiss Haus bakery for a few pounds of cookies to take to Rock Band By Day, the homeschool rock band program we helped found at School of Rock. After a few pounds of cookies those kids were composing and jamming!

We went to Silk City for lunch with friends from Rock Band By Day (and forgot to go to jiujitsu.)

The next day, Béla’s actual birthday, was a day where he slept until almost noon. Even though Ben and Tucker were out of the house for the day for work and lab, he wanted ONE “morning gift”, and I was PRETTY excited about one I had chosen for him — a red Yamaha keytar from the eighties. He loved it.

Ben stopped by a bit later to pick up Claudia for some shopping. She knew just what to get her brother, far more than I would have in this case. (Who’s Hawkeye anyway?) It was so sweet to see.


Since we definitely still had some time to spend, I had gotten packets of a modelling compound that friends in Scotland had used for something recently — a product called Sugru. This stuff is fun, and hardens into a little rubber sculpture within 24 hours. Way cooler and more durable than Plasticene. Béla made us each a little something, but I think the best was this sloth for Tucker.


When Béla’s friend Max was home from school, Ben gathered up Max, Claudia and Béla and took them to Dave and Buster’s for dinner and games. (Tucker and I got to skip that, thank heavens.)


When everyone came home we had an Oreo ice cream cake that Béla had chosen at Acme, and he got a few more presents (one on the science of superheroes, one on the Donner Party, and… an invisible drum set from Ben.)

Kids definitely do not miss anything special by not being schooled in brick and mortar buildings when their birthdays roll around. Each of my kids has turned nine while homeschooling. They have had to choose which extra activities/rehearsals to bring treats to, and we have made the birthdays themselves special, but not frenetic. Overall, like everything else with homeschooling, it’s just been more satisfying. The fifteen minutes of being sung to (which Béla hates anyway) and having cupcakes handed out at school (which was always done at the end of the day at their school, so the teachers would not have to deal with the sugar rush) is not much of a “celebration”. What we’ve got now is better.