How Our Homeschooling Journey Began
The story of us and our homeschooling journey, brief and to the point. This is for everyone who asks, why do you do it, Gwen? This is our honest journey. I have nothing against public school. I thrived at my own. My son did not. Here is how it went.
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Four walls could never hold all the lessons you needed to learn, sweet boy.
No, not you within a whole world so overflowing with miracles awaiting your discovery.
You ached to explore, running full speed towards each lovely detail of life.
You breathed each in.
You asked your questions.
You collected the answers like treasures.
You loved to learn.
I thought that you would adore school, you who was born with such a glorious love of learning.
I thought that your education would lift you up towards your passions, ignite each fire of knowledge you craved.
After all, your brilliance was contagious. Your curiosity magnetic and inspiring. A bright future certainly lay ahead.
So I sent you off for kindergarten.
And you learned your letters and your colors.
And you played at recess with your friends.
But mostly, you learned to fall in line.
About the third year into school your desk and your chair became your anchor.
Where I had imagined wings, you’d found a weight. And you silently started to sink.
You were always in trouble for not sitting still, for not keeping up, for staying lost in that magnificent imagination.
I could see you needed rescue.
I met with the teachers and the principal.
We tweaked your educational plan over and over.
But you remained stressed and sad, your confidence violently damaged.
No time to play in the forest after school, or shoot hoops with your friends down the road.
Homework. Hour after hour of homework filled your every night. School all day. Homework all night.
And now you never smiled in the school line in the morning. Before you would get out of the car you asked me to pray for you.
So I prayed from the bottom of my heart.
“Father, help our boy to see his brilliance.
Show us how to find his spark.
Lord, please, I cannot stand to see him sad.”
We were both breaking, you and I. You chewed your little fingernails down until they bled.
You told me you were stupid and worse, you believed it. You were scared that it was true.
Nothing could have been further from it, but you remained unconvinced.
I prayed like I had never prayed before.
It was from a place of complete desperation.
“Whatever it takes, show me God, and I will do it.
Whatever it takes, let’s find his smile.”
And the next thing I knew your Dad said we should try homeschool. Me teaching you.
Panicked and full of fear that I might let you down, I dove into it and for a while, it was a free fall.
But we figured it out, you and I. And what a blessing it turned out to be.
It turned out you could learn standing up.
And learn you did. Often while you wiggled.
Suddenly you were leaping past your goals.
Knocking down your obstacles like Dominos.
Most importantly, you remembered that you loved to learn. You started asking questions again.
And we found time for regular lessons and still had time to rediscover your favorite things; nature, art, and food.
It turned out that they were wrong about you having delays, you had only needed to learn your own way.
Your beautiful mind left me in awe.
You loved school again.
Your smile returned.
You found out that you were brilliant.
Now, you love hands-on learning, traveling to see the places, the animals, the art we are studying, walking in the very footsteps of History itself.
You are an amazing chef, an outstanding and very present member of your community, an expert on Ecology and Conservation.
You have the most amazing grasp on Geography and are without a doubt, the best hiking partner this world has ever seen.
You are creative and fun.
Curious and adventurous.
A beautiful writer.
And a Scientist at heart.
This homeschooling journey of ours turned out to be the greatest gift. Not one without challenges. But one with grander rewards.
And we both have learned so much about Math, and English, and Life, and Love, and Science, and Generosity, and Hope and Morality.
You have not learned within four walls, but instead within this great big beautiful world. The world your very classroom, sweet boy.
And I have learned too.
And we have reached out.
And life is better.
And I am grateful.
For your Dad.
For homeschooling itself.
But mostly for God, who heard a desperate Mom’s prayer and answered her call in the most magnificent way.
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