A Word About Homeschooling

Homeschooling is rough. Parenting is rough. And when you put them together, it’s either the best or the worst day of your life…..everyday.
Or at least, that’s how it feels to me. It’s like taking a piece of wood and painstakingly carving it a little everyday. Each day you work so hard to try and make this shape look a little more like the picture that you have in your mind, something beautiful, something life changing, something worth it. But most of the time your piece of wood looks pretty rough and blundering. Some days you want to quit, you feel like this idea was a mistake, and someone else could surely do this better than you.
You feel like an idiot, you probably look like an idiot, and if shown to others, your « art » would invite nothing but criticism. And the hardest part is that you won’t know if it’s all been worth it till you reach the end and see the final creation.

I had this idea in my mind a few years ago of what I wanted to create at home and how I was going to make it happen. I am a type 1 enneagram after all. I KNOW how make chaos into order. As I told my husband a few weeks ago, « The will of a 1 is a powerful thing, don’t mess with the will of a 1. » We were watching the movie Tomorrowland, and the girl in the movie actually made the clock of doom start counting backwards. She channeled her unwavering belief that she would make things better. That’s the will of a 1. I am a 1, a strong idealist. I know what is « right », and in my mind I see the world as it should be, which also means that I see everything that does not fit my description of the ideal. I see every single thing that is not « right » or out of true. Every single thing. So I came into homeschooling two years ago, fresh off helping to start a successful local school, with years of experience teaching, a state certificate and plenty of self assurance. I could make all things perfect in my homeschool. After all, I had the will of a 1. I was going to be an awesome homeschool mom, maybe not the best but pretty darn close. But almost nothing in life turns out the way that we planned.
I’m going to tell you, after almost two years of homeschooling, what’s the most important thing that I have learned…..humility. What qualification do you need most to be a homeschool mom? Humility. What’s the best thing you can teach your kids? Humility. It’s pretty much the answer for everything, simultaneous with « Jesus ». I planned so many things and literally nothing has turned out the way that I planned. I can only hope that these rude interruptions, these defects, these imperfections in my master plan are actually the things that will make my artwork unique and strangely beautiful. Humility.

This morning as I was looking at the Christmas tree, I saw an old ornament that my child had made a few years ago in kindergarten. I saw a smiling face. No cares, no worries about inadequacy, no signs of discontentment and inner turmoil. I saw the face of a child who is loved and feels deserving of love. And I smiled, because just last night I saw that same face on my child. After years of struggle and hurt, I am seeing that beautiful form take shape again in the wood of creation.

And what do I need to keep making this rough wood smooth?

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