It feels like forever since I last stopped here. Lord have mercy on my soul, I had to use the “forgot your password” link to retrieve my password. Anyway, now that I made my way here, I hope to dust this place up and make it a cozy space again. Tea anyone?
Let’s see, since my last stop a lot has happened. Most of you who visit me here also visit me on Instagram, so you know what I have been up to. But if you haven’t been keeping up, here’s a recap: This year I decided to take my oldest daughter out of public school and educate her at home. Shocking, I know. Homeschooling was a topic in and out of my heart for a long time. Actually, since before she started kindergarten and she’s in third grade now. Gosh, I had so many stereotypes to overcome. I mean, who wants to raise weird kids. My only resort to sort through this mess in my head was prayer. I prayed about it until the cows came home and what do you know, not a sing bush burned to tell me what to do. God works in his many ways, yes he does and he would not let this desire go away. Trust me, I tried to extinguish the fire many a times.
This past summer though was the tipping point for me. I came to realize how much I desired this adventure. We had a hard summer, my husband was traveling for most of it, but in a way it was also beautiful. We trimmed down our activities to the bare minimum and in the plentiful free time, we thrived. Yes, I’ve read the research and I listened to the TED talks. Boredom is essential and we were bored. The good thing about a good dose of “I am bored” is that soon the old gets reinvented and becomes new again. My girls played together more often and longer, we enjoyed simple pleasures that would not have been possible with a full schedule, and the more time I had, the more I thought of what homeschooling would look like for us. So, when I could no longer put it off, I asked my daughter if she would like to learn at home. She said yes and here we are, full of sunshine, rainbows and butterflies. Utopia.
Not really, our beginning was shaky, to say the least. In the first few weeks I regretted my choice and I could see my eight year old regretted having said yes. Exhaustion set in, not from the work, but from the worry. I worried intensely about what we were doing. Even against my better judgement, I spent too much time reading the school district’s third grade scope and sequence. Comparison was ruling my game and I found myself in a slump. As Dr. Seuss said “When you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”
The weeks progressed and one fine day I decided enough with the worrying and comparing. This isn’t public school at home, it is home school. I know, I know, I have every available Charlotte Mason book, either written by her or written about her, I’ve read them all. What I had to develop wasn’t more education knowledge, it was faith. That Charlotte, she knew us too well. In little time we began finding our groove and the things that bothered us started to fade away. Those magical rails Ms. Mason talks about soon become very real if we keep at it. No we haven’t worked out all of our kinks (mostly mine) and I assume, we never will. For once we work on one kink we find another one a day later. Welcome to the school of real life.
We are ten weeks into it and I am overjoyed that we are still here and thriving. It isn’t perfect, but it is real and we feel it. The changes we have made are shaping our relationships and attitudes. It is refreshing. I’ve seen my girls grow closer, creative play take flight, and me grow into the person I want to be. The feeling of taking on a challenge, for better or worse, surpasses the anxiety of not doing what I was meant to do.
Our journey has just begun and the road ahead is full of forks and bumps. I have no idea how long it will last or where it will lead. The unknown is just a feeling any parent has to grow accustomed to, most especially those taking their children’s education in their own hands. Although the weeks have been short I’ve learned a few things. A routine is important a schedule is not. You guys, I had our plans down to the minutes. Now I Laugh about it. A feeling is important, how much stuff you cover is not. Teach the basics (3 R’s) and slowly add the rest. Slow and steady, someone said, wins the race. If you don’t get it today, you get it tomorrow, or the day after. Quality trumps quantity. The heart is more important than a wooden attitude because you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink it. Cut the comparison crap out. Your school looks like your school and yours only. Shape it how you want. Isn’t it why we do this anyway?
Now, let me finish this already too long recap with the biggest news. In case you missed it, come May 2016 we will welcome another little one…because…three wasn’t hard enough. I am destined to look like an Edvard Munch painting for the rest of my life. This last baby will determine whether my husband is a girl maker or not. Maybe, just maybe, this time we’ve got XY in this oven.