I want to start off by sharing some of our personal homeschool ventures, giving you some insight on how we approach and create an environment for all of us to learn, live and thrive in. When I first started playing with the idea of homeschool I did a lot of research and scoured the internet for information, I was disheartened to find that I didn’t seem to completely land into one category or another and there didn’t seem to be a lot of families out there that I could relate to or whose style resembled what I was yearning to find. Our style of teaching is what I define as holistic: mind, body, heart + soul- teaching our children to connect with their bodies, to be aware of their emotions, given the language in which to express themselves and prepare them for the greater good. Sadly, there are still a lot of stigmas and ideas about homeschoolers, I am hoping to demystify those here in time. It is my desire that I am able to give you some answers to your questions and it is my hope that you find a connection, here or elsewhere.
Over the years I have gotten countless emails regarding home education, what folks share with me the most is the struggle to find the natural ease and simplicity in homeschooling. Homeschooling adds a whole other dimension to parenting, one that I easily tend to lose sight of. Mindfulness is the greatest tool I use in order to set the tone and pace for our lives, both in and out of teaching. Being mindful of my own physical cues allows me to take a step back, pause, breath and respond- rather than mindlessly reacting. Early morning risings. Bickering children. Whining. A distracted child. These are all things I feel resistance to, why? Because most likely I want things my way and want what my expectations of easy means to me at the time. Learning to get objective about my own thoughts is training my attention to be aware of what is actually happening around me. In short, being present. Being self aware.
These children are not their emotions or are they the standards in which we expect them to live up to. They are simply young beings trying to understand how to gain the tools needed to equip them for the world. Once I gain a bit of distance from any negative situations, thoughts or feelings that take me away from this fact, the more mindful I can be about what is really going on around me. My compassion grows and I can (again) regain clarity of what is happening with those I spend most of my day with. And gently remind myself that this too will pass and realistically a bit more quickly than I’d prefer in the grand scheme of things.
In turn, creating a mindful learning environment starts with me, I create the atmosphere, I hold the space, I am their greatest teacher more profoundly than any math equations or spelling words. I am the strongest advocate for our family values and rhythm, holding the intention to nourish ourselves fully and wholeheartedly.
I’d love to hear what you do on those dark days when everything seems to go awry. Or those weeks that feel like you’re all forever in a funk, how do you make it different? What tools do you have in your bag that help relieve the situation and bring the joy back?