Rethinking School and Plans for Fall

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Last August, after a summer of feeling very worried about homeschooling, I did the unexpected and took a sabbatical. I couldn’t explain to Russ, or even to myself, why I couldn’t do it. After 23 years of continuous homeschooling, it wasn’t even logical. Just a month earlier I had published one of my most popular posts, Homeschooling: Six Truths I Wish I’d Known in the Beginning; what was wrong with me?

As I reflect on this, I am struck by the kindness of God. He knew that I wouldn’t be able to homeschool the kids last year. He knew we would be in the accident, lose Kalkidan, and I would be badly injured. Had I homeschooled, our academic year would have ended at Christmas break. I would not have put the kids in school at that point; our lives had been turned upside down and it would have been very traumatic.

Homeschooling: Six Truths I Wish I’d Known in the Beginning

Homeschooling 1991
Homeschooling 1991

I’ve spent the past 23 years homeschooling, and unless I collapse from exhaustion, I have 11 more to go. There are days when I’m not sure I’ll make it to the end, and if I don’t, I’m going to give myself the same grace and kindness I would give you and say, “Well done – that was amazing.”

Over the years, I’ve been hard on myself. I’ve compared myself to other homeschoolers, private schools, and public schools. I’ve fretted over my children’s failures and successes and feared I might have ruined them. Don’t ask about the year that one of my children “forgot” to do math for months (and I was too overwhelmed to check) – I promise, that child is now an adult with two college degrees.

Homeschooling: Six Truths I Wish I’d Known in the Beginning

Homeschooling 1991
Homeschooling 1991

I’ve spent the past 23 years homeschooling, and unless I collapse from exhaustion, I have 11 more to go. There are days when I’m not sure I’ll make it to the end, and if I don’t, I’m going to give myself the same grace and kindness I would give you and say, “Well done – that was amazing.”

Over the years, I’ve been hard on myself. I’ve compared myself to other homeschoolers, private schools, and public schools. I’ve fretted over my children’s failures and successes and feared I might have ruined them. Don’t ask about the year that one of my children “forgot” to do math for months (and I was too overwhelmed to check) – I promise, that child is now an adult with two college degrees.

Time for Beauty

I’ve become aware that in the midst of my daily life, I miss so much beauty.  As I relaxed more on our trip, I was able to enjoy the subtle details of shells, pause to watch hummingbirds, laugh over clever sentences in a book, and delight in a colorful display in a store window.  Every day life is so full that I hardly pause to listen to my daughter tell me a story of her day, take a moment to put flowers on the table, or stand looking out the window for a quiet moment.  Vacation has reminded me that even a minute here and there to take in God’s goodness adds joy to my days.