I love being flexible, except when it interferes with my routine. I have never done “school” during the Holidays. However due to an extended summer break and later than normal Kenya trip, we have found ourselves doing just that. Now, instead of rolling into the holidays doing fun crafts, candies, and colors, we are doing MATH, World War 2, and Phonics!
Yet flexibility is one reason I LOVE home-schooling! It means I can set my own hours, chart my own course, and apply make up only when necessary. Yet, this year is showing me I like flexibility when it benefits me. Ouch!
The hypocritical “flexibility” is something I think all home schoolers struggle with. How do we handle the freedoms of setting our own schedule, aka, “being our own boss” with diligently teaching our children? What if the home school authorities came in and investigated our home today? What would they find? Or, what if my kids had to go back to public school and they were behind. What if I pick the wrong curriculum, wrong social group and doomed them forever?! Don’t all these questions lurk in the back of your mind from time to time??
I know they do me. I easily compare myself to other home schoolers, public-schoolers, probably cats and dogs if they had a learning style. Problem is, when I compare that way, I’m comparing my worst moment with their high moment and concluding that they would make a better parent, teacher and pet owner.
We have to stop thinking like this! Home-schoolers have the awesome privilege and calling to school differently. We can teach math while doing hop-scotch on the sidewalk for our hands-on learner. We can think and teach outside the box! We are free to focus on the un-measurables. Those things not available in multiple choice exams.
Yes, phonics are important, adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing – but so is cultivating my kids’ heart and treating them as an individual. One day, they will leave my front door and be away from my protection and direction and be responsible for their own decisions. What am I doing today and this week that will help them be better people in this world? That is not found in a textbook or a teacher’s manual.
So the next time you find yourself fighting with the strong opponent of “flexibility”, realize that stretchy-ness is important…so is routine…so is learning about LIFE. They each have their time and place. We have the privilege to school these precious vessels at home, even when life doesn’t comply for us to fully follow the manual!