A letter to myself, from today, one year later. One full and ferocious year of adventure later. Please read all the way to the end, all you steady, and all you unsure. Please receive this like the biggest hug you've had as you endlessly pin, research, question and drink coffee. Please read this like the sit down in my living room I hope it to be. Leave your curriculum, your notes, your pins, and your journals in the car. Come empty handed into my space today and let me touch you in a way you know you are not alone.
This is what I write to Katie one year ago, at the very beginning of this journey.
1. Your kids will never think your great ideas are all that great. Don't let your feelings get hurt, but rather, invite them into the board committee of their education. Give them the seat at the head of the table.
2. Your kids actually have pretty good ideas, pay attention
3. Your kids know what they need in their education. You unequivocally do not.
4. Be a homeschool student. Studying your kids, and always learning more based on their needs.
5. There is a list of things every 1st grader needs to know. Your kids will learn 2 of those things. Because kids like to annhialite and completely dismantle a topic. The school year timeline means zero to their interests.
6. Start every day with chocolate.
7. Hide the chocolate in an old frozen broccoli bag in the freezer. Every man for himself.
8. Share your love, your ideas, and your listening ears....never your chocolate.
9. Make every meal from scratch and take your time. You have nowhere to be. Meal plan, and enjoy the slow and steady rhythm.
10. Don't worry about having structure in the day...kids will mostly structure themselves, anyway. Shape it around them.
11. Do NOT implement anything you cannot keep up. Even if every other mother on earth can keep up with it, if you don't think you could or want to, don't.
12. There IS consistency in authenticity. Determine yourself to be 100% consistent on ONE thing, like Bible time every morning. And when you master that, maybe add another.
12. It's not school at home. It's homeschool. And it's different. Don't try and bring their school room home.
13. They will ask you almost everyday to go back to school. Obedience and TRUST are key. You made the right choice. You made the right choice. You made the right choice. You made the right choice. You made the right choice. Because. YOU. CHOSE. JESUS.
14. Listen to the Bible everyday with your kiddos. Just have it on like you would music. Why? Kids hear more than you think they do. THEY. ARE. LISTENING.
15. Your Montessori idea will blow up in your face. You made that decision out of guilt anyway because of how badly they wanted to go back to school. But this is ok, because here you learned all decisions must be sourced from truth and there is no truth in God's word about fear or guilt. Except you need to put them off. You will be stronger in your choices, now.
16. Go ahead and try all the different curriculums you'll try this year. You will fail a ton of times, and get it all wrong. It will break your fear of change and natural flow. The beauty of homeschool is, you get to change things up at the same pace as your child's ideas and brain changes. It feels all loose and scary right now. Your first year of utter failure will be what breaks you of the fear and you will soon be like a broken dam...willing to flow at the ferocious pace of your child's mind.
17. A strong willed child is actually a reason TO homeschool. Delivering them into the hands of someone else will not solve what is broken between the two of you. Get ready, mama, this year will provide the healing you've been looking for. Praying for. You'll feel stuck together at first, then you will be bonded in a new way. You will be friends in all the best ways. He will ask you about God.....he will ask Jesus into his heart this year and he will ask YOU to pray with him.
Listen, mamas. Once I knew it was something I couldn't NOT do...once I knew it was what we simply had to do...even though I had no experience, no real human desire, no real understanding...I knew I had to.
And to you, mothers gripping your coffees, totally unsure, but knowing in your gut it is what He's asking you to do....you're making the right choice.
And to you, mothers who have quit their jobs for this adventure....you're making the right choice.
And to you, fathers staying at home with your children as mama grabs her dreams....you're making the right choice.
If God has asked you to do it, and you do it, all will be well. It will. Even if He's just asked you to do it this year, or for a couple years, or until college....He has called you into this season of togetherness for a reason.
All my love, hopes and dreams