Your Journey as a Homeschooler

Here on Episode #94 of the Art of Homeschooling podcast, I talk about your journey as a homeschooler. Because as homeschooling parents, we’re on a journey of unfolding and self-discovery, too. It’s not just all about the kids.

I just got back from the Taproot Teacher Training and I want to share a few reflections after sharing a magical weekend with an amazing group of homeschooling parents.

Taproot 2022 really was magical. For so many reasons and in so many ways. And it’s so hard to put the experience into words. But I want to try to express some of the sentiments we shared because I know these reflections can help you no matter where you are on YOUR journey as a homeschooler.

Your Journey as a Homeschooler

One of the things I know about homeschooling parents is that we’re all trying so hard to get it all right. We care deeply about our children and we don’t want to mess this up. It’s a big responsibility to homeschool. And we all take this job VERY seriously.

We also have so many doubts. And wonder if we can do it. If we know enough, or are good enough. We sometimes even wonder if our kids would be better off learning from someone else. 

But in the midst of all that swirl of questioning and self-doubt, we forget about ourselves. We even sometimes forget who we are, who we were before kids. Before this big undertaking of teaching our children at home.

And that’s where Taproot comes in. Not only does it help homeschoolers learn about main lesson teaching and how to bring each of the subjects to our children, but it also nurtures the parent or teacher. So you can show up as you and be the best teacher you can be.

On the last day of Taproot, we went around a circle and asked each participant to share a simple word or phrase describing what they’d be taking home with them from our weekend together.

And Alison said, “JOY”!

Taproot is so full of joy. The joy of friendship, the beauty of the natural world, of great books, making things with our hands, creating lessons, the joy of acceptance and holding our children close but allowing for them to grow. 

In talking to homeschooling parents each week from all over the world, I see the joy getting lost sometimes. We’re all trying so hard to get it right, we forget about the fun and the joy of connection.

A group of participants wrote a song at Taproot this year called “A Dream Set Free.” And as I listened on Saturday night, I pictured the monarch butterflies we had released that morning. I’d brought our butterfly habitat with me to Taproot because it went so well with a book for one of the workshops. And on Friday evening, one of the butterflies emerged from its chrysalis. Then another came out on Saturday morning. And so we set them free. It was a magical moment with all of us gathered around.

Transformation on the Homeschooling Journey

And this all makes me think about transformation. Homeschooling is a process and we don’t always know how it’s going to go. This is true whether we’re talking about our children or ourselves.

The designer, inventor, and philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller said,

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”

~ R. Buckminster Fuller

It’s scary not knowing what’s on the other side. But maybe it’s joy!

The joy is what I’m taking with me from Taproot 2022. We sang, we walked a spiral, we wove baskets. We painted and planned, we hugged and laughed and cried. And then on the last day, we wrote poetry.

We used this amazing process I love called found poetry.

What we did was to read a collection of poems, write down words that stood out to us, and then create a poem out of those words.

Here’s my found poem from Taproot 2022…a message to all the homeschooling parents out there:

No one ever told me
It’s the courage dancing inside you
That you can call enough.
Remember to show up
Again and again.
With hope and beauty inside your heart.
Listen. It’s simple.
My story, your story…
Each song sung is the medicine.
RIng the bells
With your candle lit.

Taproot 2022 Found Poem

Find the Joy in Homeschooling

There’s so much to celebrate about ourselves and our children and families. Really about the world.

We can even find joy in the self-doubt and uncertainty. Bring it all. Because we’re down for it. 

One mom came up to me at the end and said, I thought I was coming to a homeschool conference. But Taproot was so much more than that. And these poems, if I can write a poem out of just a list of words, I can definitely homeschool my kids. We can all do this.

So start planning now for Taproot 2023! And in the meantime, find what lights you up and show up as you.

That’s really what Taproot is all about. Finding the joy again. Finding ourselves.

Links for You to Explore

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