Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Freedom of Homeschooling

I generally plan our school weeks around a literature unit study.  I have a long list of books that we will be doing this year and a general outline of which book will be done in which month.  Last week, I looked at the list and decided The Gullywasher was the obvious choice, since I had found it at the library and had remembered to buy a variety of peppers.  I was so excited last Friday about our upcoming FIAR book.  Then reality struck.  Monday was Labor Day and meant that my husband was home.  That break in routine made schooling turn into the basics instead of a great intro to a new unit study.  Then a crisis developed with the neighborhood kids that will have a long-term effect on friendships.  By Tuesday, I had my doubts if I could do our unit study justice when I realized that we had two extra doctor appointments in the week.  Then round two of reality struck ~ stitches for Goldilocks.  After a long evening in the ER (more on our learning experiences there on my Friday Wrap-Up), I knew we were going to have to postpone The Gullywasher until next week.  It just wasn't the priority anymore.

This is the wonderful freedom of homeschooling.  I can change our plans midstream.  We are on a journey and learning every day.  What we learn is not necessarily what is in my lesson plans.  Once I surrendered my plans to the reality of life happening and changed up our lessons for the week, I felt so free and we were able to go forward peacefully.   Homeschooling allows us to step away from the artificial lesson plans (not that they are not valuable, just not always as relevant as what is going on in the "real" world).

We can do the three R's, listen to great stories, build loving relationships and build confidence in our children.  Often the real world provides many more lessons than I could ever think up.  This week we are doing hard things with grace and patience.  The kids are learning to persevere, be diligent, and strive for contentment and balance in the midst of adversity. They are learning how to negotiate difficult social situations, how to have grit, and how to be graceful and obedient when all they want to do is run away and scream.

These are the lessons I want for my children.  These are the lessons that will form them into adults who will go out into the world and be self reliant.  These are the lessons that teach self control.

My job this week is to reduce stress, smooth the path as much as possible, nurture hurt souls and bodies, and show by example how to live gracefully.  My role as a mother trumps my role as an academic teacher.  Of course a mother is a teacher ~ a child's first and most influential teacher. Since I do not consider myself an unschooler  and I need to be able to record a certain amount of academic lessons to count a day of school, I have a few tricks of the trade.  When everything goes wrong, I fall back on educational videos, books on tape, and educational board games.  We have very much enjoyed a few stories from the Your Story Hour series and played several games this week.  We even are managing math and spelling with our curriculum.

So here is to freedom ~ freedom to change plans, embrace life and let go.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. (((Hugs))) Sounds like an unexpected week of events. I fully agree to the freedom to change :) The books will there another week.

  2. ministered truth today to this tired home school mother of 23 years...I needed this reminder..thanks and blessings to you and yours!

  3. Well said!
    Freedom may just be my favorite part of homeschooling.
    I'm sorry it was such a rough week for you all.