If I compare this one-year journey to a marathon, I suppose I am officially “half-way” through. I’ve just finalized our 2nd quarter grades. I’ve printed them (A’s = free doughnuts, YO!), filed them (for my OCD), logged them at our online reporting site (because I’m required to) and NOW I’m ready to move on with Christmas crafts, holiday baking, and enjoying this season with my kids!
But honestly? If I had to look at our days and number them according to the yearly planner I have on my desktop, I think I would lose it! Why? Because I’m just now realizing this journey isn’t half-way through. It isn’t even half-way begun! For real! At what point does a parent look at their child and say to themselves, “I’m officially half-way finished with raising you”? Is it 9? I mean, technically, 18 is adult enough to vote, go to college, consume alcohol in a variety of states . . . I’ve heard. Or how about 10 1/2 – my newly 10 year old would probably love that! Wow, she’s half-way to 20! Yet the idea of thinking or saying that to my 8 or 10 year old is preposterous and inconceivable!
So instead, I sit and ponder what the meaning of “half-way” for us really is. Does it make me any closer to defining the length of this journey? I don’t think it does – at least not in the concrete terms I assumed it would by this date. “People” (you know, the ubiquitous ones who comment on everything and nothing inside your head?) all told me I’d feel a certain way by Christmastime. Instead, I find myself wondering how I could ever begin to put a date on this experience? How do I possibly determine the end of something that I feel like I was called to be to my babies all along (and just didn’t realize the seasonal and practical out-working of it until this year)?
These thoughts don’t necessarily translate to never putting our children back into a traditional, Christian school environment. It just means that homeschooling has evolved into far more than the “schooling” experience I was prepared for . . . and for which I subsequently prepared the children! I feel like I’ve just recently gotten a hold of the super-secret homeschooler’s dictionary, and I’m finally able to define terms I never understood before! I’m grasping the concept of “lifestyle” and not “school at home”. I’m living vicariously through my more “relaxed” and seasoned homeschooling mama friends, and taking mental notes for “next year” without even realizing I’ve just run smack past the finish-line of this imaginary race!!
So, no. I’m really not half-way to anything. Well, we might be half-way to summer break . . . then again, we might not! We might even take a walk on the wild-side and jump off the “year-round schooling” ledge while we’re at it! Why not? I grew up schooling like that, half a world away in the pacific where it’s actually the norm and not nearly as renegade an idea as it seems to be here above the equator. I’m not saying we will school year-round, but the freedom that comes from removing my finish line I think is what we all needed to do at the end of this calendar year.
It’s kind of a big step for me. At the beginning of this process I was panic-stricken about even committing to a WHOLE YEAR!! What if I irreparably damaged my kids before then and they didn’t want to live here let alone attend school here any more?!?! But as you can see, I’m firmly off that ledge. For now. At least until I start looking at curriculum options for next year. (Then I begin to open and close my mouth in imitation of a goldfish gasping in air.)
But, if it’s any consolation – and it was for me – my 10 year old recently asked a high-schooler at the dance studio what curriculum she was using for science, I suppose because the book the student was holding looked interesting. Unfortunately, the high-schooler couldn’t tell her. Instead she looked confused and asked my sweet E, “What’s a curriculum??”
I tried not to laugh when she told me, and casually suggested she might want to try the word “text-book” next time.
PS Merry Christmas, Everyone!!
Just kidding . . . here you go for realz this time!