Friday, January 09, 2009

luxuries of home education

This was our first week "back to school" after a long, luxurious and lazy winter break! I had forgotten how much mental energy, patience, organization, multi-tasking ability and in-the-momentness it takes for me to be all that my kids need for me to be as we homeschool. Three sets of needs, questions, requests, conversations, ideas and sometimes meltdowns. That's right three... and just one of me.

Life at home with three children in differing stages and phases of childhood is anything but dull and always lends itself to the unexpected. No two days are ever alike. There are certain rythyms that may start and then change as quickly as they were begun. And for me, it takes a lot of flexibility and patience to give up on a plan or idea that I had my heart set on and change the course as needed.

Whether it's postponing a planned activity in order to allow some room for some spontaneous art time (this is precisely what happened today, and as a result I have one lovely sketch of a beaver's lodge, a page full of scribbles and shapes and one cheerful drawing of Mother Ginger on my fridge!) or allowing Nicolas to read only two sentences in his story rather than finish the entire saga because afterall, it was 3pm and what five-year old can focus on phonics at that hour, I have learned to embrace the freedom that we have as a result of choosing the less-traveled path of homeschooling.

Afterall, this freedom to alter plans, linger through lessons, start late, end early or read "just one more page" is one of the lovliest benefits of homeschooling. The ability
to start our mornings out slowly, make pancakes if we like, play "just a little longer", actually have time to teach how a chore is done, write a letter to a friend, watch birds feed in the backyard, take breaks in between lessons for building, drawing or game playing, choose the books we read together, choose how they learn to add and subtract, play math "games" when they need extra help with a concept and the the opportunity for me to choose and prepare the foods that my kids are eating each day, every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner
are really many of the reasons that we choose to homeschool.

For now, this is my life as I know it. Oblivious of the school delays due to ice storms. Free from the nightly homework rituals. Exempt from early morning alarm clocks. And full of the awareness that I am so, so lucky to be able to be free.


Katrina said...

Beautifully written! I can really relate with the feeling of being free in my home schooling. I am struggling to get back into it after the holidays (we didn't do much this week at all) but I have hope of starting out fresh on Monday!

Have a wonderful weekend! :o)

Amanda L. said...

So sweet.

I was so thrown this week with the school delays..I must learn to be more flexible like you!

Those cloaks are so great!

Katrina said...

You've received an award at my blog... come see! :o)

Jackie said...

so true!

Anonymous said...

Indeed, my friend, you are free!! Doesn't it feel great. Snow for us means more cozy book reading in front of the fire. I love that we can enjoy that now with homeschooling. So happy to hear the gratitude amongst the patience need to get going again in the new year :)


Carrie at dumptrucksandteacups said...

I found you through Katrina's blog. :)

This is a beautiful post! We are so blessed to be able to homeschool, aren't we?!?!

Donna said...

Beautiful! We've been doing "afternoon kindergarten" lately after we make the pancakes and fly our kites...lovely!

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