I think one thing that a mother brand new to homeschooling can hear, but not really wrap their arms around until they do it themselves, is that homeschooling is not school and that in homeschooling, the family life provides learning all the time. Everything is an opportunity, and learning continues to happen during “school time” or not school time.
Much is being made around the Internet right now regarding the atmosphere of homeschooling – should it be an environment of learning opportunities? grace? prayer? Probably all of the above, correct?
But I have another idea rarely mentioned: I suggest it be an atmosphere of love. Love for your child and your family. Love for your Creator and a willingness to give the life of your family back to Him. Love for your neighbors and your community. Love for the way you homeschool and your way of living.
As we come up the anniversary of 9/11, love is on my mind more often than not these days. I am a New Yorker; I lived in New York for twenty-one years and my mother’s side of the family all lived in the city so I spent time there frequently. My maternal grandparents were first-generation Americans and so proud of their country and of New York City, their life-long home.
What happened on that day in 2001 was enough to make even a soft-hearted person have rage, have sadness, have despair, have intense fear and panic. I had gave birth to my oldest child fifteen days before 9/11. I remember staying up all night watching CNN, breastfeeding going badly, and waiting to see survivors pulled out of the twin towers.
Until it became apparent that there really were not any survivors.
Such depression, such despair, nodding through tears at the brave stories of people in those towers. Somehow I remember venturing out into a grocery store in early October alone, and whilst in the store hearing that we had starting bombing Afghanistan and I just stood there crying.
For the love of humanity, our homeschooling experiences must be first and foremost about love.
But it must be about brave and courageous love, not the kind of love that is so sweet and syrupy that it becomes a sticky mess for our children, but a brave and kind love to cover those smaller than ourselves, a love that prepares our children to meet the world with new ideas and shining faces and true deeds.
Let love be the atmosphere of your homeschool and the atmosphere of your life.