What’s next? Homeschooling!

My last post reflected on the last few years and the storms we have weathered as a family in order to be where we are today: a pretty good, solid place. So, what better time than now to throw something new into the mix?

Mia and Anna have been asking to be homeschooled for the past two years.  After plenty of reflection, research, and problem solving, we’ve found a way to make it work–and think it will be for the best.  Our kids will have more freedom and more peace and quiet. They will have more time, less pressure, and more connection and meaningfulness.  We’ve done it before and we can do it again, right?

This time, though, it will be a little different.  I will continue working part-time.  Mia will be a college-bound high school student.  We will have to keep records, complete curriculum, and make sure we’re on track with everything that is required for her to become a successful college student.  I feel pretty excited about it all, and needless to say, the girls do, too.

And Anna–well, she needs something entirely different. We will follow a general curriculum with her, but we will take it easy.  She needs healing. She needs space and room to play, wonder, imagine, create, and breathe.  She needs me close by to hug and comfort her. She needs distance and protection from the world of public school, which has been overwhelming to her gentle spirit.

We have laid low and haven’t officially announced this to our family and friends quite yet.  There are people who will disagree, be disappointed, and be unsupportive.  That is ok.  We are doing this for us–for our family.  It feels right to us, and that’s what matters. We are fortunate to have my parents’ full excitement and support. It always helps to have someone in one’s corner.

This homeschooling venture is a great labor of love.  It is a sacrifice that may challenge me in ways I do not yet know. In many ways, it is like a new baby.  It will take adjustment, patience, and commitment.

 

 

 

 

 

We survived.

I have been thinking about time and how things happen that change us.  We can never go back and be who we were before.  Change is painful and humbling.  It is beautiful, too.  Change can wake us and open us–as long as we roll with it and not resist.

About five years ago, the universe pushed me in a drastic new direction. After being committed to homeschooling and full-time mothering for a long time, I suddenly knew that Mia needed to start school, that Anna would start preschool, and I would start grad school.  The decision was made overnight, and we just did it.

Hard times came along with that change.  It was tight and stressful during those years.  There was grief. There was focus. Alan and I got hit with pneumonia. We sold our house and moved.  We lost three beloved pets.  We lost great-grandma.  I left the church. Our marriage was challenged like never before.

Work, internship and classes consumed my life for a while. I struggled to maintain the relationship with my children that I’d had before the change. I intensely processed my childhood and the repressed parts of me that had to be faced.

Tremendous storms passed through with crises in my family of origin and with my best friend.

My dad got cancer.

My ideals were shattered, and one by one, I learned to let a lot of them go. I learned to ask for help and accept it more graciously. I learned to forgive and embrace imperfection. I gained weight. My health suffered a bit. I broke.

And, I kept moving–we kept moving.

We were on a little boat in the ocean, heading in a general direction but not always knowing where we were or if we would make it.  Sometimes, we had to hang on to that boat for dear life, waiting for the storms to pass.

We’ve now reached the shore.  We’re a bit weathered and rough, but have stepped out of the boat and are resting on dry, soft land.  It is lovely.  It is sun and warmth and fresh air and a sky full of stars.

I think I can safely say this now: we survived.

As a family, we might be more in love with each other and more grateful than we were before.  We’re back together again, grounded and committed in a new way. We have been washed clean with a good, heavy rain.

My children remember the hard times, and sometimes I feel badly about that.  “You were so crabby when you were working full-time,” they remind me.  “We used to read books every night.”

Most of the time, though, I’m glad they remember.  Yes, I was crabby. I still am, although less so.  We read books again, or at least we read more consistently. My children saw me at my worst, and so did I.  And at the same time, they saw me at my best.

And my husband? He just loves me. He loves us. He has weathered the storms with grace and loyalty. I think I’ve seen him at his best, but not yet at his worst. I don’t think he has a “worst.” He has been kind, accepting, and encouraging through it all.

We’ve been roughed up a bit, but just enough–without damaging the softness inside.  That softness inside has only grown. Both the roughness and the softness will carry us through the storms that lie ahead.

And there will always be storms.

 

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Anna, enjoying one of the many snowstorms this year brought us.