In the spring, my son starts his senior year of college and next fall, he will start his student teaching. My daughter has decided to finish her associate’s degree and will move on to a degree in sociology.
I love watching my kiddos as they move through the world. I am so darn proud of them. They aren’t just smart, but they both have a true love of learning. Eavesdropping on the two of them in a deep controversial conversation is the best! They have facts to support their ideas, yet, they listen to the other one. They have open minded hearts. While they are always learning more about the role they play in this world, they have a sureness about themselves that took me years to master.
How in the world did we do it? How did we homeschool Alexander from K-12 and Sophia K-9? We never had a fancy desk or work area for them, they didn’t have set hours to learn, and honestly, I wasn’t busy preparing activities to fill their days. Compared to the parents today posting their pandemic homeschooling days, I feel like such a slacker.
My kids spent the majority of their days involved in play they created themselves. We were regulars at the library checking out nonfiction for Alexander and fiction for Sophia and me. We cooked and cleaned together. The kids went shopping with me. In fact, the gals at Trader Joe’s still remember when they were around 8 and 10 because each week they would walk in with their $20. They were responsible for buying all the snacks for the family. As I shopped for dinner ingredients, they busied themselves with figuring out what snacks (fruit, crackers, etc.) the family needed. The three of us met up after each buying our part of the groceries. We read and did spontaneous arts and crafts that were generally led by Sophia. They asked questions and my husband and I did our best to answer them or to find the answers. We enjoyed a lot of relaxed family time together and the company of other homeschooling families through playgroups and field trips.
Slacker? Possibly. Probably. Yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I never worried about my kids because I constantly saw their minds expanding. I trusted that they would reach the goals they set for themselves because I relaxed enough along the way to see them doing that early on. Plus, my goal was simple. I wanted my kids to grow up to be healthy happy adults and based on who they are as young adults, I feel I succeeded at my job.
My message to parents homeschooling during COVID. Relax. Take a breath. Actually, take a lot of breaths. Enjoy this extra time you have been given with your children. The bonds you are creating now live on throughout their lives. Don’t make this a school at home time but a time to truly learn to love learning, to take on responsibilities, and to find their unique place in your family and the world. Let them lead some of their own learning. As a momma who has seen the other side of things, slowing down and really experiencing the time you have together is the true prize!