Nugget of Knowledge

The long road of homeschooling has many twists and turns, but I’ve been doing this for over a decade.

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Bikurgurl 2018

A decade. 10 years. It’s actually been since birth, though only in retrospect can I call it homeschooling. As a life-long learner, I lost the love of learning in high school for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which was burnout. By the time I

For all the time, love, sweat, and tears I put into my homeschool, I’ve been reluctant to write about it on my blog.

Why?

Homeschooling is the thing I love most; it’s the most difficult, yet rewarding, part of my life. I cherish the love I share with my family, the experience of teaching, learning with and from, my children. I find myself at times filled up, and other times grappling with ineptitude. Finding my tribe, ignoring the haters, doing this indescribably-beautifully-difficult thing I’ve chosen to do. My vulnerability, protecting the thing that I love, is why I’ve been reluctant to write about it.

I follow our children’s interests, weaving it into our daily rituals and togetherness, steers them toward learning the life skills and tools they need to become productive humans while guiding them to be empathetic young men. Though I don’t care for labels, most people – homeschoolers and nonhomeschoolers alike – want to understand better how learning is approached. We call this Eclectic Unschooling, or Eclectic Unschooly, in our homeschool.

And I chose to do it with limited support from my husband.

Whaaaat?!?

Well, it’s a sorted story, but my husband wasn’t keen on homeschooling our children. He wasn’t open to it when I started talking about it and we lived back east. He wasn’t open to it when we moved cross-country and settled in Greater Seattle – not knowing a soul. He has just recently come around to agreeing homeschooling our children not only a good option, but the preferred option, for their educations.

What changed?

Honestly? Time. Seeing the long-term results of homeschooling our boys has proven for our family to be the right kind of education.

Contrary to some beliefs, unschooling does have boundaries. As a parent, boundaries are important to give your children. In our house, safety and my sanity were priority. Beyond these keys to my mental health, and their physical safety, I tried hard to allow them to live and learn in a supportive environment with mutual respect and love.

Back to the change…

This past weekend I went to my first Mama-Only-Weekend Homeschool Conference. Although it may seem strange to other parents, I’ve never had the desire to be away from

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Portland Wild & Free, 2018

my children: Not for a night, not for a weekend. I’ve recently started doing a few Moms Nights Out and lunches with friends, but a weekend away? By myself? I hadn’t really thought about it. But this Wild and Free Homeschool Conference in Portland.

My husband encouraged me to go – take the time for me to have time for me, and if I picked up some homeschool community and positive mojo, even better.

I was skeptical of his motives, knowing he hasn’t always been keen on our homeschooling choice, but I really appreciated his support and wanted to go to see my Homeschool Mama Guru-from-Afar, Julie Bogart. She is the creator and owner of Bravewriter: a tool for children to tell their stories – but it’s so much more. It’s helped me be a better writer, a better writing teacher, and more in tune with the importance of relationships in writing.

Through Bravewriter, Julie taught me Freewriting in a way I use and have taught my children and writing classes. I’ve taught the NaNoWriMo writing process to not only my boys, but classes of homeschoolers. Teaching students to freewrite, tell their own stories, and worry not about the rules of grammar and only the rules of their hearts.

And I got to meet her, hug her, and be a tongue-tied, giggly mess when I met her at the conference — and she was as gracious in person with my imperfection as she is with all your podcasts!

Also, she just made my day replying to a few of my Instagram posts! Yay!

In the video below, Julie gives an overview of the Conference High and aftermath – how it is to come off of the ‘conference high’ or even the ‘I was able to go to the bathroom alone (Yay!)’ – in one of the many authentic, supportive videos she offers on her Facebook Page and beyond.

{so maybe this link will work?}

Support from a place of love, experience, and non-judgemental encouragement 💖 Thank you, Julie — check out her Bravewriter Instagram account, it’s full of love too!

My big take away from the conference was how many women had the full support of their husbands to homeschool. It actually made me feel bad. Bad that I didn’t have that support from my husband to homeschool. Bad that I needed the validation and support from my husband to homeschool.

And then it happened. I got home from the Wild and Free Portland Conference and went back to my life.  My husband and I went to our Homeschool Learning Cooperative {Co-op} Open House to meet teachers for next years’ classes. We ran into a homeschool friend of mine looking into classes for her son to take at the the Co-op. She said that she didn’t mind her son taking classes, or even going to school – if only he didn’t have to do all the school things. We chuckled and I said to my husband, “I know you’d love to have our children in school!” to which he promptly replied, “I don’t think so.” He then began to articulate how the freedom our children have to follow their passions has led to many more rich opportunities for learning.

Be still my beating heart.

He gets it. He gets the children, our experience, and wants to support us, support me, in this homeschool/education/family journey. I can’t believe he didn’t say it, or I didn’t see it, before this week. What a gift.

I got my ‘nugget of knowledge’ from the conference that I didn’t know I needed, but got as a gift from my husband when I returned home.

@Bikurgurl_watermark

Where do you find your ‘Nuggets of Knowledge’?

Link for original post in a closed Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbravewriter%2Fphotos%2Fa.10150165625981677.324373.60237116676%2F10156015424081677%2F%3Ftype%3D3&width=500

 

2 thoughts on “Nugget of Knowledge

  1. I am very admiring of you for homeschooling your children. I couldn’t do it. Michael has special learning needs and, try as I might, I just couldn’t give him what the remedial school he attends can. Greg has chronic OCD and is high function autistic. I just could not be around him all day; it would kill me. You are very fortunate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww! We all need help – and our children all deserve a variety of mentors. I think doing the best for your children is always most important. I actually removed a detailed account mid-way through this narrative because I want to be sensitive to my children and couldn’t check with them before I published. The long and short of it is, we all do what is best for our children. As loving, caring parents who want to give their children the best opportunities for their future, we question, investigate, and educate ourselves on the best options for them. I’m thankful there are so many options for educating our children and supporting them through their development – whether it be homeschooling, public schooling, private schooling, or a some mix in between. I do feel very fortunate to have this option (it’s like you’re reading my mind, it’s today’s blog post coming out later!). I appreciate your sweet words because it’s not always the reaction I, or any, homeschooler receives – but know I do not take my hard-earned situation for granted. Also, I admire you in your choices for your children. I know these choices were not made lightly and am happy you’ve been able to find options that work for your children and your family. Give yourself a big hug, mama! You are enough 💖

      Like

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