We’re a few weeks away from celebrating our one year anniversary as homeschoolers. For me, homeschooling has been an experience on par with being a wife and mother. It’s something I could never have fully imagined before jumping in.
Since this is our first winter/holiday season I didn’t anticipate the slump that hit me last week.
We’re rarely intense and regimented about schooling. There are tasks we do every day and then we loop subjects like science, history, and art (more on looping in another post soon). So there’s a lot of breathing room in our daily plans to follow curiosity’s lead and tailor work to our rhythm.
That being said, I certainly get into a “nose to the grindstone” mode at times. Often, this is necessary to push through new concepts or learning things we need to know but don’t love studying (ahem, grammar). And sometimes it’s an utter waste of energy to force schooling.
Last week I started to feel like everything we did took twice as much time andeffort as it should. This included everything from getting the laundry done to cursive practice. We were all resisting the hustle.
Then the negative monologue started in my head.
I’m so disorganized.
Why can’t I stick to a plan?
Am I a good teacher?
Is this the best choice for my kids?
That last question was the one that snapped me out of it. There are a lot of uncertainties in life but I do not doubt that homeschooling is the right approach to education for our kiddos.
So, I shifted my mindset from quitting and surrendered to a slow season. I cannot over exaggerate the miraculous change this shift brought to our home. We all breathed a collective sigh of contentment, snuggled a little closer on the couch, and started to the let the year unfurl around us.
Over and over this year I’ve seen how my children blossom when I get out of the way and just provide support and encouragement. With the choice to slow down, they went from bickering and whining to excited chatter over the Christmas presents they were making. I was surprised to see them both gravitate toward the keyboard, journals and sketchpads. Cole is drawing pictures for everyone and Savannah is writing a song for Chris and me.
Allowing them both time and space to investigate and experiment makes what they create less precious. The act of producing something new and unskilled can feel very vulnerable. So it’s vital, during this phase of their lives, that my kids have lots of opportunities to develop a style and voice. This slow season feels like the perfect cocoon for creating.
I’m taking this time to observe my kids with an eye toward the changes we’ve all experienced over our first year. And I’m slowing down long enough to observe myself. How has this immersive experience changed me?
The fruit of our conscious choices over the last year will be seen throughout our lifetimes. But I’m thrilled to have learned the art of surrendering to slow.
To see more of how we’re embracing slowness, check us out on Instagram.