I saw an old friend at the grocery store recently. We quickly embraced each other and started catching up on each others’ lives. Even though we live within five miles of each other, we had not visited in quite some time. We had a lot of catching up to do!
“Maybe you can come on some of the homeschool hikes with us this year?” I said hopefully.
“No, we really can’t take that kind of time off from school. My daughter is in the seventh grade, and that’s a really crucial year. We’re doing (Seton, Mother of Divine Grace, Kolbe – I don’t remember what she said exactly and it doesn’t really matter). I’m afraid we’ll leave something important out so I insist that we do all of it! It’s really hard to homeschool a teenage girl!”
Totally ignoring the fact that I also have a teenage girl — and have homeschooled four teenage boys and am currently homeschooling with another pre-schooler in the house — I simply nodded my head in agreement. We wished each other a happy homeschool year. But I knew that I probably wouldn’t see her again until she finished all of her curricula sometime in May.
This incident made me remember my times as a serious ballet student. I would attend classes five or six days a week without fail or excuses! Heaven forbid I should miss a class! Consequently, I missed out on family parties, invitations to concerts, and many other activities just so I could attend class. Then one time, I was forced to miss class because of an injury. I attended a wonderful concert that evening instead. I remember how excited I was to get dressed up and how much I loved that special performance.
Over the years I probably took thousands of dance classes during my serious dance training. They mostly blend into each other — not many moments from those classes really stand out. But I still have memories of that special concert more than 30 years later.
And so I think it might be with homeschooling. Yes, they have to learn math and reading and grammar, science and history — but I want them to remember what it was like to hike in the woods with their homeschooled friends or taking the time to go to the local All Saints Day Party, or taking time for a field trip — even if it has nothing to do with what we are studying right now!
THOSE are the memories they are going to cherish when they are older! Those little breaks throughout the homeschool year will help them to dive back into their regular studies, refreshed and with new energy.
But even more than that, it gives me a chance to emphasize the MOM part of homeschooling mom! I’m not just the one that assigns the workbook pages, or checks off the reading assignments; I’m also the one that took them to the park, and walked the tough trail beside them, or helped them bake cupcakes for the party, or got the movie for “movie day!”
That’s the legacy I want to leave anyway. When they remember their homeschooling years, I certainly want them to remember the enrichment I tried to include and that, “oh yeah … we got a great education too!”
Copyright 2017 Elena LaVictoire