Tuesday, May 19, 2009

pale in comparison

Yesterday was our last day of classes with our homeschool co-op before the summer season begins. Each time my children and I are with this group of families I can't help but be reminded that this is why we are homeschooling.

We are so blessed to be a part of an amazing community of families who have made the bold step down that not-so-traveled road of home education. No one family in our group is providing the same educational experience to their children as any other, but yet each is perfect and complete for that family.

Each Monday before, after or in between classes being offered on topics such as gardening, crocheting, chorus, drama, Artist Trading Cards or natural fibers, there is inevitably a large group of children running free in the field outside playing freely and wildly.

This is a group of children without exclusiveness. They are on the look out for one another. There is no picking on the little sibling, but only acceptance and an invitation to come play with the big kids. These are children who chant each others names in celebration without the prompting or prodding of an adult. And who are uninhibited enough to care if their pants match their shirts.

These are children who are not limited to minutes of outdoor time during a scheduled recess, but instead are afforded the daily opportunity to spend hours in the out-of-doors if so desired.

And that's just the children. We have parents in our group who are artists, musicians, chefs, avid readers, bird-watchers, writers, nurses and sheep herders. It is about as diverse as one could imagine. And it is these same parents who are choosing to cooperate and volunteer to teach these skills, hobbies and interests to the children in our group. What an amazing environment of enrichment and creativity!

There are times when I feel that the homeschooling journey is just to difficult to travel along any longer. There are days when I feel the steady tugging and enticing lure of the possibility of daytime hours spend children-free for a chance to plunk down and read a novel in one sitting if I so chose. But I know that this is a fantasy and could ask anyone of my dear friends whose children are out at school that this just does not happen (often)!

I'm sure if we were not homeschooling I would have more time for cleaning my house, for turning the batch of projects and ideas running around in my mind into realities, for taking those runs that I can now only sneak in once a week, more time for creating that master-list of meals that I will rotate every ten days for my family's dinners and for being better at returning phone calls.

But all of those noble goals and aspirations pale in comparison to the precious time that I am blessed to be able to spend on a daily basis with my children- living, learning, exploring and sharing our lives with one another.

And as I look around a house that is scattered with poetry books, math manipulatives, slingshots, pencil boxes, sandpaper alphabet cards, loads of art supplies and little hand prints on each and every surface of my home I know that we are living the abundant life that we are being called to live for this moment right now.


ash said...

LOVE this. I really would like to homeschool my son (he has another year before he would enter public school kindergarten), so I greatly appreciate any "real life" accounts I find on the benefits. I've been told quite often that the acceptance among children of all ages is one of the greatest parts of the experience!

Jaime said...

I am going to be quitting my job (as a 5th grade public school teacher) to homeschool my own children (4yo and 2yo) in a year! I am so excited and you said everything that I am feeling. Thanks.

Jackie said...

so well said, jill! it has been an exceptionally good year at mhc--a very enriching part of the homeschool experience. sharing it with you and other inspiring mothers makes our home school better.

Mommy K said...

I feel the same. =)

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