This post may seem like a stretch, but hang with me… And keep the music in the video below playing as you read the rest. 🙂
When Kent got his new company car last year it came with satellite radio. When we climb in on our date nights (dinner together at least once a month before we meet with our bible study group) he always turns on the Frank Sinatra station for me. It wasn't until my late 30's and 40's that I came to appreciate Frank, until then it was only fuddy duddy music to me. But now I love it, and it does something for our nights out. They are elevated somehow, they feel “grand”. I know that sounds kind of dumb, but maybe you know what I mean. When Frank is singing, and Kent is singing along, which he does very well, I'm reminded that we are living the life. This is our time. The time we'll look back on and remember that even in the midst of the daily stresses and the ever-present issues of not enough time or money for everything we'd like to do, this is it. Right now is the time to enjoy the moment and thank God for the unbelievable blessings in our lives.
As I've been reading through all the comments on my recent homeschooling posts, there have been many that thrill me to the core for the type of higher living I'm so excited to draw our kids into. The possibilities of where we could take them feel “grand”! Yes, some days will be tough and feel like drudgery, that's life. But even if I can bring them a fraction of the way toward the goals I'm shooting for, it will be much further than where we could've taken them had we stayed in the “system”. Not that it's impossible to do this if your kids are in regular school, many do it quite well, but for our family it wasn't working.
This comment from Mindy is a good example of what I mean:
“Children are not a container to be filled but a fire to light. Give them wings.”
Isn't that inspiring?
And this comment. Wow, I loved this comment from Kristina:
(It was in response to the post where I shared our decision to homeschool.)
“Kelly, This is our EXACT story. I watched my son's entire third grade year as all the innocence and wonder was sucked out of him and I thought to myself, this just isn't right. Add in that the school wanted to drug our son and THAT whole mess is what led us to WAPF (yay, real food!). Homeschooling is the best decision we have ever made. Our first year was scary and a bit isolated but I was blessed to find the most generous and loving group of homeschooling mamas this side of the Mississippi. Our son is thriving. His lust for learning is back. His “behavioral problems” are gone. My relationship with him is based on love and respect not “do a/b/c or you're grounded!” I could go on and on.
As for paths opening up, you're right, they will. Our family is about to embark on a year long journey in a veggie grease powered RV. People scoff and ask me, “What about the kids' school?” To which I smile kindly and reply, “Your kids may read about the Grand Canyon, but my kids will be riding a mule to the bottom.” There truly is no substitute for family, good food, and experiencing the mysteries of the world together. Good luck and God Bless!”
How cool is that?!!!
Lastly, I'll share something that I found through a blogging friend, Avivah, who writes at Oceans of Joy. Surprisingly, I'd never read this book before, and couldn't wait to order it from Amazon and read it to our kids…
So tell me, those of you who have been doing the homeschooling thing for a while, will I have more feeling “grand” days, or feeling like it's “drudgery” days?!
I totally agree with bringing your parenting and kids to a higher level. After five years, sometimes I forget the connection I have with my kids and how different it could have been if we had done the typical path. During the summer I feel like I lose touch with my youngest boy and then when school starts again I get to see “him” again. I really get to appreciate who he is as an individual and have that one on one connection with him again. You will have those down days, esp. in February but those are the days that you do something fun that the kids in school would get to do…like taking a snow day, making snow ice cream or having a jammy day with some great movies..even if you don’t get thngs done it will be a bonding day that will be unforgettable. One day a few years ago I made a outside fire in the woods and read on a blanket…I loved it as much as they did. I know it’s good because the other day the kids were playing apples to apples with Tim and the word was “perfect” and Kate submitted the world “my school” and McKenna picked it….so sweet and I wasn’t even there. So good luck and have fun…
Julie I read this whole comment, got tears in my eyes, and then realized it was YOU who wrote it, so sweet! Especially since you were such a huge help to me in those first few days when I was considering doing this and you let me chew your ear for SO long. (Thank you for that, how fun that I’ll prob get to see you more this fall and our kids will get to know each other again!) I’m so excited, I can’t even tell you how giddy I feel inside about all of this!
Hopefully I feel the same in a couple of weeks, LOL! 🙂
Of course there WILL be drudgery days—but many more wonderful days! Your family will need time to decompress from institutional learning (kind of like the detox the body goes through when switching from processed food to real food). The best advice I can give is ‘You can’t do it all!’— especially not every day. The house will not always get cleaned, some schoolwork may need to get saved for the next day etc etc.
I, too, enjoy a good inspirational quote! One of the (many) reasons we left the public school system and started homeschooling was that we found (in our district, at least) the schools did an excellent job of killing the love of learning. We are slowly by surely getting that back now. Along those lines, I love this quote from Sir Walter Scott – “All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.”
BTW, there will be WAY more grand days!! You will get through the drudgery days, I promise!
There are drudgery days, for sure. And those are the days when you throw down the laundry and Life of Fred to declare, “FIELD TRIP!!!” Have those homemade lara bars and water bottles at the ready, girl! 🙂
Our Small Hours says
Oh, mama. I get it. I really, really do. That is exactly the thing about home schooling my children that I can’t seem to put into words. There is just something about it that is . . . well . . . grand!
Being a witness to my children’s learning–especially their self-guided learning-has been an amazing experience. So much joy in the journey.
And, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” is my favorite children’s book. I began reading it to my oldest when he was just a baby. Such a great message about the reality of life and the promise of accomplishment that drives us to keep on pressing.
Our Small Hours says
Oh, and to answer your answer your question . . . *blush*
There are many more grand days than drudgery days. The days that are difficult would be difficult whether we home schooled or not. Only if my children were in school they’d wouldn’t be given the time or opportunity to work out the drudgery in their own way.
Mindy M says
Learning to work out the drudgery is a gift. I feel like our relationships are so much better because we worked things out. Many days it seemed like it would have been “easier” to send them off to school. But it is like Real Food: it would be “easier” to buy junk than to prepare a wholesome meal from scratch. But I go the extra mile because it is what’s best for my child and the effects last a lifetime.
Amy Love @ Real Food Whole Health says
Kelly, this is a great post! I love Frank Sinatra as well, and I know exactly what you mean 🙂 We don’t homeschool currently only because we don’t have school-age kiddos, but we WILL be homeschooling, no matter what. If we had to sell everything and move to a small apartment to make it happen, we would. It’s just what we feel strongly about. Sort of like real food 🙂 If we couldn’t afford it within our current budget, we’d move things around until we could. Now sometimes that is easier said than done, but you are right- paths will open. I just love inspirational homeschooling posts because it makes me so excited for all the adventures that are ahead for us when it’s our time. And I’m glad to find someone else who likes listening to Frank! 🙂
Rhvonda Launsby says
Wish I couldhave homeschooled but my ex fixed that had to work all the time but I did add to the day wth extra work book reports in summer and we took trips around the world in the kitchen we would pick a countryand fixthe food from there was lots of fun they liked it and have. More sopisticated paletes for it
We have more grand days than “drudgery” days here. Even when days are less than ideal, I’m still thankful that we are homeschooling. Our oldest went to a preschool YMCA program and then we have been at home ever since. I’ve never regretted sending him there and it was a great program. That said, it was enough to continue to see positives on less than perfect days (of which there are many.) I don’t have to volunteer in class, do fund raisers, etc. Those are an unexpected bonus to me. 🙂 I honestly think public school would take more of my time than homeschooling does.
Even the ‘drudgery’ days are grand!!