Friday, June 09, 2006

Renewal of Spirit

I have said before that it seems as though life moves in cycles. Everyone experiences and talks about "life's' ups and downs", and maybe that's true for them, but I rather picture life as going along in a horizontal motion rather than a perpendicular one, stretched out across the timeline of our existence that stretches from infinity to infinity. And instead of the wheel spinning up and down, I picture it moving along that line, and spinning us like the Egg Beater ride at the fair, round and round as we travel down the timeline to our destiny.

The last two and a half years of my life have felt like we were at the back of the cycle, several yards back from where we had originally progressed, and caught in the g-force that was pushing us back. But every once in a while, I catch the glimmer of progression that seems to indicate that we are about to regain what has been lost, and progress further along the path of life than we have heretofore adventured.

I have spent the last few days ironing out what our life might be like in the next year, and two years, in terms of my husband's employment, my going back to school, and our plans with respect to homeschool. It appears as though the school schedule will allow me to still homeschool B and K. I hope I'm not kidding myself here, but I really think that I can structure my time to provide a quality education for both my children and myself. Having the support and help from my husband in both these endeavors is amazing.

The crowning moment in this new cycle of moving forward came in regard to homeschool.
I've spent the last two days researching curriculum and formulating a plan that goes beyond "if I can get them through this year and not screw up". Anyone who homeschools knows the self-doubt that can go along with undertaking sole responsibility of educating your children. I found a quote today in my research that hit me like a ton of bricks and was the cherry on-top of my freshly renewed excitement and dedication to homeschooling:

The object and design of education is Liberty!

* We teach morality so they will be free from vice.
* We teach literacy so they will be free from ignorance.
* We teach economics to free them from financial bondage.

How true and noble this statement rings! My desire that my children be classically educated by me, in our home has always felt like the right thing to do. The resistance we've met along the way, which felt devastating at first, just melts away when I remember that the education path we've chosen for our children will give them a childhood filled with classical literature, opportunity to think about math as more than problems on a page, a firm grasp on the details of the History of the World, and the opportunity to explore their world and their place in it.

My first and second grader absolutely lit up as we read the Washington Irving version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I think it really says something about the opportunities afforded by teaching your own children, that as we meandered our way through the unfamiliar syntax and verbiage, we had talks about slavery, learning, descriptive writing, and the feelings of others. I think a great many people would dismiss this incredible work as far too advanced for children this age, instead feeding the child a watered down version with far fewer descriptives and a simplified plot. With little guidance from me, they not only *got* the story, they got excited about it, and wanted to spend extra time talking to me about it, with B even calling me to his bedside to whisper his questions and theories to me in the dark. I have no doubt that their learning and excitement is something that I wouldn't give away for all the world. The impact we have on our children is so incredibly vital to who they become and how they function in the world around them.

So through teaching my children today; amid the piles of laundry, the sinks full of dirty dishes and the never ending cycle of chores that goes into maintaining a home and family, I rediscovered the joy and excitement of parenting. The fact that I get to be these beautiful children's MOM! I'm so excited I could just pee myself!

3 comments:

Nettie said...

Oh, don't do that! Think of the mess!

I really admire women who homeschool. I imagine that the self doubt could be difficult. Your child's education is so important. The doubt is one of the reasons why I don't. You are so much braver than I! It sounds like you are really good at it, and I am sure you will be able to manage your schooling and theirs just fine.

Maine Mom said...

What a neat quote! I think it's great that you homeschool. I'm giving my children the option every year to either go to school or homeschool. I'm hoping that by them choosing to go to school that they will take it more seriously and enjoy learning there. Someday I may be writing to you for advice on homeschooling, though.
Good luck with your schooling and the new schedule your planning!

Maine Mom said...
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