Every February in the early years of our homeschooling, I would find myself visiting schools! Just to have a look. Just to see if school might be a better fit for us than this crazy life of all being jumbled together at home all day! But somehow, someway, what I really needed was to find the strength to carry on homeschooling.
One year, my son visited a first grade and came home very enthusiastic. What did he like, I asked: the Twinkies for a snack (really) and the Math Blaster computer game. This was a private school.
Another year, I visited our local public school and found out they had art once a week for 30 minutes. As I peeked into the art classroom, I saw the children coloring in outlines of a bird. Recess was twenty minutes.
One visit, the teacher of a combined grade was showing a movie about America. The content seemed way over the heads of the children and the teacher kept interrupting to hush up the restless ones. I wasn’t even able to pay attention to the film.
After my visits, I would return home thinking that whatever we were doing at home was at least a bit of an improvement over those classrooms full of twenty-five to thirty students. Yes, I do believe class size matters and we have an advantage at home.
But then how do I make it through February? This is when I started my list: What To Do When All Seems Lost! The list has reminders on it like:
- Go outside
- Get out old family photos and tell stories
- Make a cup of tea and take a break
I posted this list on the inside of a kitchen cabinet; what these little breaks would give me is some perspective and the strength to carry on.
Fast forward a number of years to today: I am reading the book, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. (If you haven’t seen her TED Talks, I highly recommend them!) What I see now that I didn’t then is that our imperfections are not a bad thing; they are, in fact, what make space for connection to one another. They are what make us human. All we need is the willingness to put ourselves out there. And I would say that as Mamas, we do that every day. Perfection is not our goal, connection is.
So, if you are stumbling along through February, first know that you are not alone! And then make yourself a list to hang inside your kitchen cabinet. And then think of something you LOVE – music, stories, history, science experiments, cooking, birds, knitting, photography – and weave that into your lessons this week. Share yourself with your children.
If you need any help, consider booking a Mentor Session with me.