Homeschooling is a fine and balanced art of being a teacher, being a parent, being the caretaker of the family, often being the holder of the family emotional life; the family climate so to speak. We often begin homeschooling for our children and for the successes we know homeschooling will bring them as we strive to meet a child’s physical, academic, or emotional level, but yet it is often us who end up stretched in varying ways that we never guessed or knew was possible.
We learn to be strong within our own convictions of why we are doing what we are doing. I think too many people spend an awful lot of time on the “how” of homeschooling, perhaps rightfully so, but perhaps we need to be in connection with our why’s in order to carry us through. And since there is often more than one way in which to accomplish a goal, vision, or task, we need to be really connected into this why. Why is homeschooling the right answer for our family, for this child, for us as a unit? What will we gain? What will be challenging? Then we can worry about the how.
We are often stretched with the juxtaposition of the mundane – the daily meals, going over spelling for the twentieth time or that math concept for the millionth time, the soothing of emotions day after day- and the challenging. How do I teach subjects that I didn’t learn about? How do I make an inner life for myself within this? After years of homeschooling, who AM I?
We learn to build our families in ways that take into account everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and to really see our children for who they are – and help them become who they will be in life. Building is an important task of the inner work of homeschooling.
Inner work varies person to person. If you follow Waldorf homeschooling, you may find ideas amongst Rudolf Steiner’s regarding inner work. If you follow a specific religious path, you will find ideas there. Many people create their own path. Your path itself may look different depending upon if you are focused upon your children, you yourself as the teacher or you yourself as the human being. Perhaps we cannot separate ourselves as teacher and self so easily, but I often find what often needs to be nurtured in times of homeschooling burnout is not more ideas for me as a teacher, but ideas for me as a human being who is separate and distinct from the children and the family.
I would love to hear your thought,