Sometimes, the reasons for doing something change over time. Children grow. Circumstances shift. The seasons come and go. Life happens. The universe opens itself up into new possibilities, and if we’re paying close enough attention, we can lean in a little more closely, listen carefully, and respond with our own leap in kind. The fact that there are unexpected, wonderful treasures to be found in each and every day is never more true than when homeschooling, when time spent together rapt in the excitement of shared discovery and growth brings about a closeness and connection that lasts forever. Those small nuggets of wonder and joy unearthed in the simplest of moments swell into a profound sense of deep contentment, with the capacity to smooth and soothe and balance the rougher edges and unrelenting vicissitudes of life. Stay curious and open, trust the process, and your homeschool journey will take you and your children to places you might never have imagined.
“If life is only a passage, at least on this passage let us sow flowers.” ~ Michel de Montaigne, writer
It’s November now, and for most of you, you’ve settled into a rhythm and flow that feels right. Now that you’ve been homeschooling for a little while (or maybe a long while), you might want to revisit your expectations around homeschooling, and your reasons for doing it in the first place, to see how they’re stacking up. Homeschooling in theory is often, like everything else, so different than it is in practice. There are unexpected pitfalls and challenges, but also surprise benefits and joys. So, what have you discovered? What new things have you learned about yourself? About your kids? About homeschooling and all its wondrous workings? What adjustments have you had to make as a parent? As a home teacher? As a student and lifelong learner yourself?
For those of you who have been homeschooling for a while, you may be changing things up, trying out new rhythms, or starting to transition into something totally new. What’s changed about the experience for you? How have your expectations followed the more organic flow of homeschooling, changing and growing along with your children? Are your decisions for homeschooling the same now as when you first started?
“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.”
~ Louisa May Alcott
In Jamie Martin’s Simple Mom blog post, A Letter to the World: Why We Homeschool, she explores just some of the reasons why she first made the decision to homeschool her daughter: “I wanted her to play, pretend, create, imagine. Every day. To pan for gold and follow maps to hidden treasures. To be childish. To be outside.” Now, with her daughter transitioning from many years of homeschooling to attending a middle school “down the street,” Jamie re-examines the hopes and dreams that fueled their initial decision, only to find that they had come full circle:
“But we made this decision with the hope that one day, when the cement dried a bit, when the most important messages had been etched into her by us, she would leave us to mark others. …‘so that when you go to school for the first time tomorrow,’ I told her, ‘you’ll be the kind of person that makes it a better place to be.’” Martin ends with gentle, loving encouragement: “And you have definitely become that kind of person.”
Your Turn: We’d love to hear from you! What are your reflections on your first few months of the new homeschool year, or a transition back to school? What have you learned or realized? What kind of person do you hope your child to become through homeschooling?