We came home from a luxurious weekend of sand in our beds and peace in our hearts.
What a way to end the summer.
All of a sudden, it was autumn.
There are tomatoes to stash and baskets of apples waiting…
Waiting to be made into chips and for the freezer and for jars of applesauce for quick snacks on the way out the door in pursuit of adventures calling.
Part of what I love about homeschooling is that we don’t have to jump back into anything. Everything is by choice. We only sign up for what fits into our lives, and we don’t need to take on more than we are comfortably able to. We don’t need to join multiple activities, no matter how exciting and enriching the opportunities may be. It’s difficult at times to hold myself back, to remember why we are doing this in the first place…for a slow, relaxed pace. For time to enjoy sunsets and meals together. For discovery of autonomy and peace.
But the devil on my other shoulder remembers this time of year.
I remember the glory of filling a binder with freshly unwrapped paper, and slipping the tiny subject labels into the plastic prisons of my dividers. I remember the rainbow of freshly sharpened coloured pencils and the smell of new erasers. I could easily load my kids up on fresh school supplies and get sucked back into the hype of the first day, but this old habit, has got to go….like so many of those things that were engrained in me in school… Fit in, Follow along, be good and quiet and ask permission to pee, but you’d better do it quickly…
We are programmed to teach our children what we know, our own personal experiences. This has been part of our survival as a species…teach them to hunt, to gather, to look at foreigners as possible enemy, but this has also allowed us to pass down hurt from generation to generation. The things we choose to share with our children need to add value to their lives, not simply feel, familiar, to us.
So the only new beginnings here right now are the changes in my perception of how I see this home-learning journey. How little we really need. How much we learn when we are together, bonding over shared interests of bugs and electricity and really big numbers. How little is learned from replicating a classroom environment in our home!
Because you see, I don’t have school years to mark the passing of time. It’s just passing. There are so many adventures to share together while I have their companionship, and I’d hate to miss them, worrying about being validated by onlookers, silently continuing on the pursuit to convince traditionalists that I’m a good enough mom, even though my kids are here with me, and Im not a teacher.
It doesn’t matter anymore. I’m comfortable with this decision, so everything else fades.I’m reminded that we don’t need anything except time. Time to read, time to play, time to blend a simple life with learning, the way we do all the days of the year.
And if we feel like it, maybe we’ll sharpen all the pencils.
I hope to be really clear here, that the life that we choose isn’t the life that works best for every family. We know we are a one-of kinda deal, the same way you are. And I can only hope and dream that you, too, are making the best choices for the needs of your own individual family and for yourself, without falling prey to the chatter.