Sometimes I don’t write in this little space for a week or two because life just happens and I don’t have a lot to write. Then there are other times when I feel like I have so much to write, but I don’t know where to begin or how to compile my scatter-brained thoughts. I think the latter is what has been happening these past few weeks…
I’ve been thinking a lot about our homeschooling journey, lately. As with all journeys, there are different places that offer different views; some spectacular, some kind of boring, and others beautiful in their own way.
As I was pondering our homeschooling, it occurred to me that we have unintentionally broken our schooling into 4-5 year seasons. My first season homeschooling was spent learning the basics, doing lots of arts and crafts, music, baking, and surviving with babies and toddlers. I can still remember doing reading time on a bedroom floor while simultaneously building blocks with a toddler, or doing math under a play structure at the park while the other kids played in the sand. These years were so precious, and offered a lot of freedom, but I started to feel as though we needed more structure.
The next 4 years we were part of a community that I loved, which offered wonderful content as well as great friends and a sense of purpose and structure that we had been lacking. As with all things, it came with a few negatives such as losing some of the freedom I had so loved in the earlier days. Honestly, I look back at both seasons with a lot of fondness. One wasn’t necessarily “better” than the other — they both offered different things we needed at different times.
We are now entering yet another new season in homeschooling. This year we joined a new community that is actually local to us, which offers me a lot more freedom and a few hours of free time. Daniel’s job has also changed, allowing him to be home every night for our family dinners. We have intentionally cut-back on some of the academics and extracurriculars to allow more freedom for hikes, field trips, reading together, and spontaneous activities. (See pictures above of our first hike with our new community today!)
Again, this new season is not necessarily better than the last 2 seasons. But, it is providing exactly what we need at this time in our journey — more rest, more freedom, and more freedom to rest! I feel my joy and excitement for this journey being renewed and refreshed once again.
All that to say, change can be hard. There is an adjustment period in everything. But, it can also be so good. There is not one “ideal” community or system out there, which is the beauty of homeschooling, really. We are given the freedom to try, to experiment, to start over… sometimes daily! And, that’s ok. It is not the end-product we are after, but rather the process, the journey, and the relationships we are blessed to be a part of. Each day is a gift, and as my children are getting older and I am seeing the days slipping away, I am more grateful for this gift, and want to be more intentional with our time together.
If you’re still reading this, thanks for listening to my ramblings!
P.S. Who are those big kids in the pictures????