The thought of teaching a high schooler at home can be daunting unless it has naturally occurred year by year as a committed K-12 homeschooling family or it is a situation of getting your high schooler out of a bad situation in traditional school. Even then it jangles ones nerves all over. That being said, most amazing things cause this core reaction… the first time you saw the person you were to marry….saying, “I do!” and learning the day by day lessons of marriage… finding out you were going to be a parent,,,, holding a tiny precious baby knowing that you also held full responsibility….. and on and on it continues. This feeling is nothing new, it just is right before you which causes it to seem larger than life. Once you take a step onto the actual path things take their place, work begins, and, like all wonder filled things, you go at it moment by moment, lesson by lesson, day by day until 4 years have miraculously gone by, books full of memories surround you, and your child continues growing up.
As we excitedly plan out our learning and lessons for next year it strikes me how the butterfly-joy welling up from within is based on the journey rather than thoughts of the completion of another year. It feels like running into a dear friend who has been out of town for a while.
In the beginning, I thought it was about getting through a long list of requirements year by year. The concept of being able to fall into a lesson of intrigue and remain there for as long as we wished is foreign- feeling somehow that it must be wrong, illegal, something.
After years of following my heart instinct, experiences have confirmed, in multiple ways due to various and sundry children’s testing, attending school, going to college, etc. that this method works. But, it still feels confusing to educate in such a non-traditional manner.
We use books- many books but rarely follow one all the way through as we don’t believe that gives a worldview from which to platform discussions. We learn how to learn traditionally because that is the world we live in. However, day to day lessons are fluid, aimed at my children’s future selves, built toward their interests and gifts. Rarely are two days alike.
There is rhythm to each day, there is sequence to our lessons, there is beauty as well as tears, and there is trepidation that I’m missing something, I’m doing it wrong, I’m fooling myself. God is giggling right now as He whispers in my hear, “Katie, my beloved, that is faith. Trust.”
Finding harmony based upon routine is one of a homeschoolers core daily struggles. Even for those of us who are determined to maintain a fluid day, there must be some order. When do the children wake, what lessons are the big slimy toads and need swallowing first, who needs what nutrition at what time in order to balance out minds and moods, do I answer the phone or pretend not to listen to the voice leaving a message, do I check emails or call it multi tasking as I take a potty break, and on and on. So, fluid is wonderful, we strive for it, but what gives us the most harmony is doing as we ought to do based upon what routines we have put into place. To let these go for a day, much less a week, means having to push start a solidly build iron caboose all over again. Obviously we don’t relish that idea, so why not put it off for one more day, and one more day, and disharmony arrives without us even noticing.
Keeping motivated for our own chores, expectations, meaningful work etc. is only the beginning. On top of this we must guide and encouargae our children in this same area- this same area that we so often stutter-start, falter, and fail in. It is a constant seeking. One that is most often just illusive enough to erringly convince us that it is unattainable. —And then we grasp it; hold it for a few precious moments; become exhausted in the maintenance it requires; lighten our grasp– and out ‘she’ goes to be sought once again. It is in the journey that we grow, not in the reaching of the destination. That is the wonderful thing. Enjoy the journey.