It’s been more than a year since I’ve spent time to write out my thoughts about homeschooling. At this rate I’m averaging about two posts a year.
But believe me there have been many hours spent listening, talking, mulling, daydreaming, reading, searching, trying, failing, succeeding, and sweating over this thing we are working through in our home. This record of my meandering and digging in various potholes is enlightening. It reveals an intense desire to do this thing right. And really the core issue is searching for the best method to ensure peaceful days. When I imagined marriage I imagined perfection since we were both going to be nice and peaceful people. I imagined perfect parenting and perfect children because we were going to be kind and endearing. I imagined there was a particular path we could walk to guarantee successful relationships, education, and a lucrative lifestyle.
So I tried listening to many voices that seemed to call to me with a guaranteed approach to living perfectly. Sure they did not actually guarantee perfection but it all did sound heavenly. We tried our hand at a co-op which was beneficial in many ways but really left myself and my creative middle daughter in tears. I even scolded my youngest out of anger – in front of everyone – gasp! So humbling and horrifying. I took the wheel many times in my oldest son’s lessons to ensure success. Wow this is all so hard to write.
This year it was decided to be independent and study topics of individual interest while also using a reading/history curriculum that helped me to feel as though we would be exposing ourselves to general topics we might not simply stumble upon on our own. The summer season of planning was rather frenetic. I attended a homeschool convention which was hosted by two vastly different schools of thought. A classical homeschool founder presented her ideas to a thirsty crowd of parents while The Family Man/The Smiling Homeschooler who has his own homeschool ministry also offered his insight. What I noticed about the two experiences was one presenter seemed quite stoic and might I add stressed, while the other looked genuinely happy. At this point I knew I needed genuinely peaceful and happy. But there I go again looking to people to point out the right path for my family and judging hearts that I don’t even know.
So I’ve come full circle again to my initial mantras of loving my kids where they are, not putting pressure in academics but building relationships, and looking for opportunities to smile. My children are growing up quickly. It feels there are not many more days left to make memories while we are a full house.
I’m so pleased that we purchased that old RV and drove all over the state for our son’s golf tournaments, we finally camped in Homer, we booked that introductory flight for our son to actually fly a small plane, we helped our middle daughter realize her dream of getting her parrolet from a breeder in Florida, we enrolled our youngest back into gymnastics but at the recreation level, we dropped the honors level of Biology class for our son and are doing the basic level with me studying alongside him so he can learn good notetaking and study skills, and we accommodated our middle daughter’s desire to change math curriculum and encourage her to be a mermaid.
There is no magic formula. There is no perfect curriculum. There is no guaranteed system. There is the masterpiece of my child.
Psalm 138:8 The LORD will work out His plans for my life – for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.