Thoroughly Equipped to Educate
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Have you ever done something because it seemed like the right thing, the logical thing, to do, only to realize that it wasn’t right for you at all? Have you ever done what was expected and then discovered the freedom to break away from the norm?
Something to prove
That was me, when it came to schooling my kids. Sure, I’d already broken away from many norms simply by choosing to homeschool. And I even broke away from typical homeschooling methods by choosing a less familiar approach to our home education.
However, I still believed we needed to include certain components, accomplish certain goals, demonstrate certain proficiencies. I was trying to keep up with the homeschooling Joneses, trying to prove that we were on par with other homeschoolers, and with other conventionally schooled kids.
Theoretically, I knew I was thoroughly equipped to educate my children but practically speaking, I was adding so many extras.
Two things happened slowly and simultaneously to open my eyes to the pressure I was placing on all of us. First of all, our life was becoming more and more home based, and more and more homestead-esque. We simply began to lack time for all the activities and curriculum because we were doing real life.
Secondly, I began to feel extremely disconnected from our homeschool community as I watched so many giving into the pressures of “keeping up”. I watched parents running their kids to this activity and that activity, to this class and that lesson. I saw them squeezing so many academic goals into one day, one week, one month, one year. One life.
It wasn’t until I took a few steps back from formalized homeschool activities that I was able to identify the extent of this disconnect. What a relief it was to discover a better way!
There is no formula
How freeing to believe that I am thoroughly equipped to educate my children, that there is no “formula” I must follow. How liberating for my boys to learn and grow at their own speed, without being compared to others.
What a joy to watch each of them gravitate towards their natural bent and pursue their innate interests. How rewarding to see them develop a deep love of reading, and form connections with certain authors and characters. How satisfying to spend each day with them, talking and learning over meals and chores and lessons.
Our “schooling” has taken quite a different path than I ever dreamed or expected. And it’s been so good. So rich. So right: right for our family, for our life, for these boys.
Is it easy? Heck, no. Do I often feel inadequate? Heck, yes. But I’m learning that the hard things that seem impossible often turn out to be the best things. The ones worth striving for.
You are thoroughly equipped to educate
Are you homeschooling this fall? Does it feel overwhelming? I want to encourage you that your children are a gift, this time is a gift. You are thoroughly equipped for the task ahead.
Give yourself permission to let go of expected “norms” and ask yourself, what do these children truly need? Do they need facts and tests and curriculum and information? No. They need love, good books, freedom to play, lots and lots of time outside, and a healthy dose of wonder.
You can do it, mama!
If any of this resonates with you, and especially if this is new for you, PLEASE leave a comment or send me a message. I would love to encourage you and cheer you on!
PS: I was inspired to share these thoughts in honor of a very special book releasing Aug. 18th. Every parent needs a copy of @sally.clarkson‘s newest book, Awaking Wonder! Sally will inspire you to pursue what’s best for your family, for your children. You are thoroughly equipped to educate your child, I promise, and Sally’s words will encourage you on your way.
PPS: Don’t miss the Awaking Wonder online conference with Sally and her entire family! To sign up, and for more details: Awaking Wonder conference.
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Hi Kathleen, mom of four, we were at the homeschool field trip last Friday. You speak to lang of my heart, toxic free living, homesteading ( which I’m dreaming about on our third of an acre we just moved to last Aug from Philly for hubby job) eating from our home grown food and now homeschooling. I have an elementary degree and always had in the back of my head what it be like to homeschool my children in our one room school house (each a yr apart with different strengths and ideas) Husband against it till this past fall when we moved, he saw education on computer s as we tried to follow public school plan. What you say sounds so freeing to my spirit that has been in turmoil lately, really up and down this yr, trying to get a natural skincare business off ground, teach my four and begin turning our vegetation into edible, put in raised beds and build our coop for Chicken and rabbits. So many blessings that I want to but am not enjoying. Why, because of expectation… I’m confident I can teach them, but my husband (an academic and school counselor) and family even others expectations keep me pushing fwd not free, not enjoying, juggling. A real faith in our Jesus, an excitement for learning and problem solving, finding solutions is what my heart believes is best. But when they reach that 12th grade yr, will they be prepared if I don’t stick to a fundamental classroom each morn? With assessments… I have wrestled this hard and still am. Thank you for sharing your heart that is beating where mine longs to….
Thanks for listening
Hi Kelly, I stopped just now to pray for wisdom for you in the midst of all the responsibilities, expectations, and hopes you’re juggling. And it was so nice to meet you and your kids at the field trip last week! 🙂