I have come to enjoy when people ask me, “How is the homeschooling going?”

I used to say, “Fine.”

Now I don’t. Now I say, “We are not schooling. I decided that school is unnecessary and we are doing self-directed learning.”

People say, “What is that?”

“It’s different all the time. The boys decide what they will learn.”

“What are they learning now?” This is the question everyone asks. They are brave, in a way, because they are scared to hear the answer. I can tell.

And I like that. Because the truth is that I’m scared, too.

And I list stuff we are doing, in addition to unlimited video games:

Three hours of swim lessons a week. Both boys are working on butterfly. That’s very hard to do. They are excited.

A pottery program that has filled our house with bowls and mugs.

A goat meat business.

Ten hours of skateboarding a week. Do you know what an ollie is? My six-year-old works as hard on that as he does on Mario Kart. Which is saying a lot.

One son takes a breakdancing class. He can spin on his head.

We do cello. And violin.

And when the six-year-old asked, I taught him division.

Sometimes I get through the whole list. Usually not. People can’t believe I’m doing it. But you know what? The more I say it with confidence, the more confident I feel.

We are in NYC this weekend. We saw the Lion King. My sons loved it. I loved taking them. I confess that I love seeing how excited I can make them with the world around them. I loved their mouths hanging open. I loved their smiles and seeing them jump in their seats. I want their whole lives to be like that. Every day. I want to teach them how to make that for themselves.

In the meantime, they give that to me. At least once a day. And I think that is really why I’m keeping them out of school. So we can all have more joy, each day, together.