The Beginning of the Journey

Lately, the wise words of Lao Tzu have been in my thoughts: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

After a very long soul-searching, and a very long path, we have decided to homeschool.  Our reasons for doing so are as complex as education itself.  I’m still having a hard time explaining why in a thirty second sound bite, but it boils down to the fact that we want our children to be able to unfold at their own pace.  That we want them to remain curious and excited about learning, and that we want to offer them a different experience than we had.  Already The Boy has decided what he is interested in, and has taken some ownership of his role.  It’s only been a week, and the change is slight, but it is there.  When asked what he wanted to study, he answered, “math, science and rock and roll.”  That’s my boy.

I am so fortunate to be able to give him this great gift.  And it’s a great time to homeschool.  There are so many resources out there.  I’ve been reading the blogs, doing the research, reading the books.  I’ve been reading John Holt, who is knocking my socks off.  He has gotten my mind swirling.  I’ve been reading more about Waldorf education, and what exactly that means.  The options and buzz words are mind-boggling: Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Classical, Thomas Jefferson, Waldorf, Enki, prepackaged curriculum or unschooling?  It enough to make my head spin.  But for now, we are focusing on four things:  reading, writing, math, and play.  Now that my energetic son doesn’t have to sit at a desk for six hours a day, he can play.  And it makes me so happy.  School won’t have to be a place we go, it can be a way of life.

At times, my mind has been filled with doubt. Can I do it?  Can I retain my sanity?  Will our children have the same opportunities as their peers?  Will they learn what they are supposed to? It requires an enormous act of faith to take such a leap.  And right now I have to keep the faith.

I’ve said before that parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done, but so worth it.  Hopefully some day, I can say the same about homeschooling.  I am happy, excited, and terrified.  It’s going to be great.

Here’s a great little video for you called Changing Education Paradigms.

12 Responses to “The Beginning of the Journey”

  1. Linen and Tulle writes:

    Good for you. Such a hard decision to make. I wanted to homeschool and my kids did too however an ex-husband refused. I hate seeing the dread of learning coming the older they get.

  2. kangaroo writes:

    WOW!! Congratulations. One breath at a time is absolutely an acceptable plan! Can’t wait to hear more.

  3. The SwedeLife writes:

    Yipeeeeee! So very excited you are doing what you always planned to do, afterall… Sending courage, peace, patience by the wheelbarrow full, and hope for lots of fun ahead for all of you.

  4. Islay writes:

    I’ll be following your journey with huge interest. I’m contemplating (in a very vague sort of way) the possibility of home schooling. I doubt we’ll actually do it, but I’m really interested to see how it unfolds for you.

  5. exhale. return to center. writes:

    oh rose!!!! i’m SO excited for you and your family!!!!

    LOVE the boy’s quote!!!



  6. Amanda Eyer writes:

    The Boy is so lucky:) Would love to have you as my teacher.

  7. Maggie writes:

    Congratulations! Way to follow your heart and to have the courage to take the leap. As I’ve said before, your children are very fortunate to have such caring, wonderful parents. Rock on, and may your home be filled with days of wonder, exploration and the expansion of brilliant minds.

  8. Chris writes:

    You can do it and it is a great gift — for the entire family.

  9. Relax | The Laughing Monkey writes:

    […] And I was doing really well this year.  I was pretty proud of myself.  Then I decided to start homeschooling the week of Thanksgiving.  Then I sprained my foot.  Then I realized that I was going on a […]

  10. Ruth writes:

    From a 71 year old mother and grandmother with regrets that I never was aware of the things my children really needed, I’m saying to you – You Go Girl!! You will never be sorry! You will be fulfilling the role of a truly nurturing mother. If you don’t, you may find yourself in my shoes some day!

  11. bronwyn writes:

    Good for you. I’ll be interested in your journey. My daughter will be attending public kindergarten next year, but I am really interested in different homeschooling philosophies because I think school is only a part of the picture. And you’re right – there are so many! How do you decide which is right? Good luck on your journey.

  12. Tammy writes:

    Great news, Rose, go for it! (And keep a mental image of your lovely, perfect advent wreath, all year long…)

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