The Brave Learner Seattle Book Club

Image by Bikurgurl

Whew! It’s been a whirlwind week for me!

I posted earlier this week my short review I wrote for The Brave Learner, but what I didn’t say is that I’ve been working on starting a book club to take a deep dive into this book with me over the next year or so, taking one chapter at a time to really dive deep into the book.

As Julie Bogart, author of The Brave Learner, says, “You can not have inspiration without a deep dive.”

I’ve been on a deep dive the past year. Though I’ve been home educating for over a decade in Seattle, Washington, I’ve not really found my ‘tribe’. I’ve had many acquaintances, even friendships, with other home educators, but a tribe? A group of others who felt the same way, or were at least tolerant, of my eclectic unschooly ways?

Not really.

I’d resigned myself to take this journey alone, but then cancer hit, my oldest tried out middle school for a few months, and my marriage hit a rough patch. It happens, but I felt like I was failing: failing my family, my children, and myself.

My friends who don’t home educate, my parents, even my partner, were super supportive, but it felt fake. Not their thoughtfulness and kindness, but they aren’t the primary educator in their homes, so the kindness felt hollow.

I felt hollow.

With high school looming, I wasn’t sure I was going to finish strong for my older son and leave him with cherished memories, experience, and education as he headed toward his future self. I didn’t sleep at night, read everything, and finally had a meltdown.

I didn’t think I could do it well. I needed a tribe.

When a homeschool conference came to Portland last spring, my homeschool guru from online, Julie Bogart, was one of the presenters. I decided I needed to go. I needed the inspiration and connection with other home educators who would, invariably, also love Julie as much as I did.

It did not disappoint. Julie did not disappoint!

I soon thereafter joined her Coaching Community, the Homeschool Alliance, which is meant to feed the adults {primarily women} who home educate, or other educate, their children. She has monthly Zoom calls there where she talks to experts on Learning how to Learn, brain science, relationship issues, and awesome adulting — and of course there is a forum to ask questions of others there too, which has been a boon for me.

However, I really wanted a group of locals with whom I could find my place, meet up for coffee, talk to about what is and isn’t working. When Julie published her book last month, I thought, this is my chance!

I pinged all my home education groups on Facebook and asked who would like to get together, in real life, and discuss each chapter of this book in a deep dive sort of way. I was willing to travel and hoped there would be one or two others in the Greater Seattle area interested.

I was wrong. We’re now at over 65 members interested in discussing this book!

What a joy! We had our first round of meetings, six in total, and I attended every single one. In the first meeting, I was reserved, we followed the book. By default, I did not want to lead the groups, but merely be a fly on the proverbial wall. Observing, taking it all in. These women, however, were fast to prove how much aligned we were in our quest to find community around making relationships first and not following someone else’s prescribed education bend or focus.

Hello?!? This is why we home educate! If we thought someone else could do it better, we’d just send our children to them!

After the second, third, and fourth meetings, I felt immediate community with all the people who were showing up – most of them I’d never met before, we came from different backgrounds and time spent home educating – and in some cases, were not home educating! That is the wonderful thing about this book — it’s really about how the relationships we have with ourselves and our children can bring delight and enchantment into our education choices – no matter what kind of education we are offering our children.

For years, I organized events for my children, and others to attend. I put together field trips, organized volunteer events, taught classes, took my children to classes, held brunches, book clubs, gaming events….and my bibliophile finally told me:

“I think you need friends, mom. We’re fine.”

And he was so right!

There is so much more to talk about with regard to my needing community and finding it, but it’s something I’ve been a bit ashamed about. I have recently discovered, I really am an introvert. Although I truly love individuals, and I’m great at managing crowds, the small group activities I so craved were something I’d been avoiding for years. Kind of difficult to have a tribe if you avoid them!

And the ability to be vulnerable.

I’ve been dealing with survivors guilt over my cancer, and all the changes it’s made to my body and mind, and it’s still not something I like talking about — which is strange because I restarted this blog about 4 years ago to say something about it. To help others on the path, to share my experience and my journey; but I just couldn’t. Every word, every paragraph, was {and is} a struggle. I’m uncomfortable with my vulnerability. I’ve been burned and I’m in no hurry to put myself out there again.

And yet, I need to.

For healing myself, for moving forward, for my future.

So here I am: I’m being the, ‘Change I wish to see in the World’


How are you growing to your future?

Aff Post – I receive a small commission when you choose to click through – at no cost to you!! Thank you for your support!


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