If anyone had told me three and a half years ago that I would become a homeschooling parent, I would have laughed in their face. I am not a primary school teacher type of woman. I don’t fawn over sticky faces, get my kicks from finger paint everywhere and joy from watching sweet little faces sound out their words phonetically. I am so not her.
I am much more of the routine ditching, day trip, coffee shop, wine and laughs with my girlfriends into the middle of the night, knitting while doing everything type. I am just *slightly* free-spirited and rebellious by nature. And that’s probably putting it lightly. This didn’t change when I gave my life to Jesus as a teenager. If anything, I felt like all of my nature, personality and tendencies finally made sense to me.
Regardless of how I ended up here (that is a story for another day), here we are. I did things this year I never could have imagined possible and I gained a new appreciation both for the things you can do because you said you would and for knowing your limits as a human being.
God has given me tremendous grace and freedom within my call to homeschool our children and as a result of that, I fully trust him with the results of what we are trying to do here. I am not an A-type personality. I don’t have checklists for each and every lesson and moment of our days. That’s not who I am. My Meyers Briggs test reveals that I am an INFP. I am a majorly extroverted introvert but I still need time alone to recharge. I am terrible with the fine print and nitty gritty details but man, I love me a big picture. I love to look forward ten and twenty years and imagine who our children will become, in part because of the choices we are making.
It has taken me these last few years of putting in the work and slowly seeing the fruit being produced to say that what we are doing is building something seriously rad.
It has taken me all of this time to realize that everything I thought would be my downfall as a homeschooler is what actually makes me great at it. The ability to be flexible and roll with it when you’re oldest is working on math at the table and you’re on the couch teaching your six year old to read when the three year old announces either that they’ve wet their pants or need a bum wipe should be a marketable skill.
I’m fairly certain that I cried through the better part of this past winter, each night when my sainted husband came home but what matters here is that we did it. I did it. With as much love and patience as I could muster and made it through to the other side. I have now taught children to read on the couch, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the car, in the backyard and while their siblings were basically throwing a parade right in front of our eyes in distraction.
This has reminded me and also taught our children that learning happens everywhere. It is not exclusive to those sitting in desks in a classroom or those with a paper degree. We are not only learning if we do it in one specific way or if it is being taught by someone with a degree, though I have mad love for those teachers who basically have magical properties and can wrangle thirty children at once.
We are never done learning. I never went to university and I always felt like that made me less intelligent among my peers. I thought that meant I hadn’t learned as an adult but let me tell you, God has blown the doors wide open in that department for me. That good historical fiction based on a real person I just read, a good film, beautiful music, the many times I stepped foot into foreign countries… Spoiler alert, all learning. The forgiveness I have given and received as well as the choice to be loving and letting myself be loved when I didn’t think I deserved it? All learning.
If there is any wisdom I can impart to my children it would be this..
There is a God and you are not Him. You don’t know everything. There is always something new to learn if you can humble yourself and take a posture of openness to what is being given to you.
Here I thought I would be teaching my children and boy, are they schooling me. What a gift.these last three years have all been gift.