Monday, June 9, 2014

The Beginning of the Homeschooling Journey

I started my journey to being an educator back in college. I took all the required classes and did my student teaching and even took a job as a math teacher for a couple of years.  I had very high expectations of myself and my students. I felt I failed them everyday. I worked hard and long hours, but that didn't seem to make me a better teacher or the job any more fun. I felt locked up and depressed. I really didn't like school and it seemed not many people around me liked it either. There were so many unhappy people and so many 'things' that needed fixing. I remember feeling the conversation had gone way off course. The mention of my (our) students and what would be best for them and what might be exciting interesting ways to teach those kids was no where to be heard.

I don't feel like I have been very passionate about learning. As a student I became very good at following directions and getting good grades, but I did not get excited about learning new things. As a teacher I desired to be great, but I lacked passion. I was looking for extrinsic validation of my work. It is tough to be passionate and authentic when you are seeking validation. And it is a hollow and shallow feeling to be validated on a job which you exerted a lot of energy, but no passion.  

As a homeschool mom I struggle with the need for extrinsic validation. What I want to attend to are the voices of my children, and my desire for passionate learning. The voices of my past education haunt and taunt me. My fears grow and

I am a teacher again. The stakes are a bit higher as I am providing an educational foundation for my children. If I fail this time I will probably be living with roommates the rest of my life, and I really don't want that. I really want my children to have all the tools necessary to jump from the nest and fly to any place they choose. I want the journey to that jumping day to be full of loving memories. I want my children to love learning. I want them to see learning as an adventure as exciting as Star Wars.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The journey of a thousand miles...leads to homeschool.

Cliche. Yes. This phrase can be uttered for millions of people, and I am one of them.
Ok, I promised myself I wouldn't go back and erase my first sentence 20 times before moving on this morning. So, although I don't think that first line is the 'perfect' opener it will suffice for today.

The journey. When did my journey begin? I guess the real journey begins when you finally make that connection with your other half in utero. I believe my journey began when my two halves became one and this body I embody began to grow and form and become me. That is the real first step.

I was fortunate to be embodied by an amazing woman who cared for me from the early fragile moments of my becoming through the tumultuous fragile stages of my evolving. I was fortunate to have a father who remained conscious of and engaged in the process of nurturing my being and growth. I had the gift of a gentle beginning to my journey filled with love, support, joy, encouragement, failures, and hope. In the beginning of my journey I learned many lessons about walking my own path. For the most part I have stayed true to my inner compass and followed my being, but part of being human is getting lost. Or at least if you are living any kind of authentic life you must have been lost at least once.

For many years you are able to let go of your inner compass and just float along with the current of modern life. The path to success is a pretty paved road. Do well in school, get into a good college, study hard and get a degree, get some experience, get a job and hit repeat for your own family.  It is the recipe for a 'successful' journey in todays world.  And for the most part it is a good path and leads to a good place, but it is awfully crowded.  And it seems in the crowds it is often tough to see the individual to remember that although you are like your peers, you are also uniquely your own self. The crowd can be a tough place to let your uniqueness shine or seep out. The crowd tends to prefer a more uniform appearance. The uniformity of it all is what has set me on edge.

I want more diversity in my outlook. I want more of a mountain wildflower explosion than a planned perfect garden. I want to let go of the need to fit the success model and dive in with the people living an authentic life, unafraid of tomorrow because they are so engrossed in what today has to offer. I want to live with the awareness of a 6 month old. Aware of how my hand moves through space and how the branches of the trees sway and dance with the breeze. I want to wonder at the bird flying and the sounds animals make. I want to live each day basking in the pure joy of discovery.

So,  when asked 'Why do you want to home school?' I think the answer has to be I want to live with my children in the pure joy of discovering this world.  I want to take the side roads of life. Our path is rough, bumpy, and the direction the road goes is unclear.  Do we go here or there? Is that our road? Or is that our road? I want to find our way together. Most likely we will end up in a similar place to most of our peers, but on our journey we will have seen and experienced a lot more together. And for me that is what this journey is about, experiencing the best the world has to offer, together with the people I love most in this world. That is why I homeschool.

Going to India (3/14/17)

Well the travel adventure has started. I am getting ready to depart for a yoga pilgrimage to India with a group from my favorite yoga studio...