First of all, I need to address a fact that most of us are familiar with.
Kids are amazing!!
Plain and simple.
Their seemingly endless capacity to adapt to any and every new circumstance never ceases to impress me. Maybe this is made even more impressive than it otherwise would be because I’m the type of person that takes weeks to adapt to change. Even small change, like a new toothpaste flavor – and then I’m likely to be secretly planning how to return to the old flavor.
Our inside joke used to be that my motto rejecting all things new (and potentially scary) was “because it’s different . . . and that’s bad.” OK, not very funny – especially when you’re married to someone who loves change and embraces it for all it’s goodness – then again, maybe that’s why I’m like this, because after all, someone has to be the brakes of this operation, right? (I tell myself that. It makes me feel better about the toothpaste situation.)
Back to kids . . . they are adaptable! These past 2 weeks are living proof of that. For 2 weeks, I have spent time working on breathing deeply, sometimes holding back the tears related to my own feelings of “what if . . .” and “why are we doing this again?” while watching my Facebook and real-life friends/family send their babies back to school. In contrast, for 2 weeks, my kids have spent time embracing our “one-room school house” for all that it is, and somehow glossing-over all that it isn’t. They have taken geography tests in their bedrooms, worked math problems on the computer, they have made nomadic cave paintings on construction paper, read about cell organelles while sitting on beanbags in the living room, and traced maps of the Nile at our kitchen table – all of it (mostly!) without complaint.
So 2 weeks are down (if I were counting, I’d say 34 to go, but I’m not feeling like that just now) . . . and at the end of these first 2 weeks I’m beginning to figure out that this journey is bound and determined to present multiple learning opportunities for me, at least as often as it will for my young “students.”
If I’m being honest, though, the first thought that enters my head when people ask me, “So, how do you like home-schooling?”, is that I’m really not equipped to answer that question! Answering that question, either affirmatively or negatively, would be almost as ridiculous as the parent of a newborn baby answering the question, “So, how do you like being a parent?!” Really? After 48 hours of changing diapers, sleepless nights, and adorable baby spit up (didn’t want it to all sound negative!), there are no words to describe the emotional state of a new mother, and it definitely doesn’t translate to an understanding of “Parenting”! Parenting is so much more and yet it’s all related, isn’t it? The diapers, the feeding, the potty training (can I get an AMEN from anyone who’s made it through the line-up so far?), the tantrums, the finger-painting, the stain removal (there should be a class in this, no?) etc etc etc So how can anyone really discuss “Parenting” (with a capital P!) after 48 hours? I feel much the same way. Yes, I realize it isn’t the same. I can change my mind. I can send them back . . . to school, that is. But I don’t want to – at least not until I’m prepared and equipped to answer the question. It’s a fair one, after all. I’m just not there yet.
I figure in the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the view. It’s pretty good . . . unless of course you’re whatever animal is featured in the cave paintings below – *ouch*!