New School Year 2014/2015
Another school year is upon us. This is my 6th year of home-educating and I finally feel as though I am relaxed – not so worried about curriculum choices and such but truly embracing the fact that education is all of life. There is much freedom in that embrace – even as I have the added challenge of new state bi-laws and such, I’m still so grateful for the freedom of choosing how our children will learn and it what ways. I’m forever grateful that many years ago, my husband asked me to pray about homeschooling. I never thought I would. And he didn’t just ask me to pray about considering it, but he placed in my hands some precious gems that would forever shape my view of children and education. I was challenged to embrace a philosophy that would change me and us through the writings of “For the Chikdrens Sake” and “When Children Love to Learn.” This year, I have found a true joy that I’ve not known before. This came after the tension and melt-downs in my own heart – wondering if I was doing it all wrong – after facing the fear of cultural norms and dangerously comparing my methods to another’s. I learned to let go of the control I thought I had and to see each of my children as uniquely different – with hearts holding differing passions but all if them possessing strengths and weaknesses that are shaping who they are.
And my eyes finally opened to the fact that this role I have as their teacher is a great privilege- that of placing before them a feast of ideas and an enormous spread of fascinating, living knowledge as we look at a fine piece of art together or open our ears to a magnificent work of a great composer of the past or read about people from the ancient world or put our hands to work in the kitchen – measuring, dicing, chopping together. All of these things make up education – the ideas…the experiences….the pausing to give a hug or help resolve a conflict. They all have a beautiful role to play in the making of our minds and our lives. I look forward to what this year will bring – my biggest challenge yet with 3 different grades to teach and a very busy and inquisitive pre-schooler. But I know one thing – that no experience is wasted – good or bad. And that, my friends, is a deep and rich education of the mind and the heart.