It’s “Back to School” time for many students around the world, and even in our homeschool we use this time of year to make a fresh start. I’m always excited to start a new “school year” because I love to learn and I love the opportunity to change things up and hopefully inspire my 4 students to become avid readers and lifelong learners. I am currently enthralled with a new book called A Thomas Jefferson Education and all that it means for our homeschool journey.
As the book explains, there are often major differences between modern schooling and classical education–the latter being accomplished through mentors and study of the classics. It asserts that the only true education is self-education and that it comes about when great mentors inspire their students by their example. I am all over that! My favorite thing about homeschooling, which absolutely has its challenges, is how much I get to learn myself, and that my kids automatically absorb so much just by being around me as I struggle and persevere along my own path.
I am far from a perfect parent. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. And I can honestly say that I have had a pretty great Catholic school and liberal arts education with some amazing mentors all along the way–I shudder to think what would have been if I had not! I feel I have much to live up to. And I believe that’s what makes me the ideal mentor for my kids. I have to pass on the lessons I have learned and the character I have developed–and I need a lot of time and opportunity to do that. True education can never be forced or rushed. It must be willingly received… patiently and passionately pursued. So that is what I will do, and I’ll trust that my children will follow my example, and eventually surpass it.
This is one of my all-time fave photos of my son, Aaron. He was three when I took this. See how sweet and innocent he looks? I like to joke that the only reason he survived his terrible 3’s is because of his cute looks! So glad we made it through that phase. 🙂
Today is a day of extra celebration for me. Two years ago on this day I left my career to fully pursue my calling. It was more than a leap of faith… I playfully nicknamed it my skydive of faith, and that year became my “Year of Living Fearlessly.” I also decided to home school my older two kids (then 7 and 5) that year and became pregnant with our fourth child.
I am normally a very responsible, level-headed kind of girl who enjoys stability and security, but I also have my moments of insane courage, and I haven’t regretted a single one. I would never advise anyone to make the same decisions I made. I would only advise you to follow your gut, your heart, your truth… whatever you want to call it… that thing that you know deep down that you need to do to stay alive in every sense of the word, that is birthed in love. Once you figure out what it is, just go for it! For me, it was staying home with my kids and home schooling them, but that was only the beginning.
Every path has its twists and turns and nasty bumps, but the struggles that you choose are much easier to go through than the struggles that just happen to you when you’re stagnant or going in a direction you got pushed or trapped into. I used to think I was a control freak, but it turns out I just wanted to be assured that someone far more capable than me was in control and that there was a plan that I would be happy with. Once I was convinced of that, I shifted my perspective from one of “taking control” of my life to one of surrendering to my best possible life, which equals far less anxiety and stress, and A LOT more gratitude.