Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Homeschooling to build family.

For the last several Christmases I've found myself going back to read Missey Gray's words from her Heartschooling Blog.

For now, I'm enjoying making memories with my family and letting all the worries and stresses roll right off my back. They'll be there for another day. But for today I'm going to get my Love Bank filled back up with kisses and hugs and quiet conversations (while making those same kinds of deposits into each of my loved one's Love Banks) and regain the strength to face all those worries and stresses that will still be waiting for me come January.

As many of you know, Missey passed away unexpectedly just a few months later, which made her words all the more poignant and true.

This year I also lost my own mother. I can't tell you how painful that has been for me over the past few months and particularly as we get closer to Christmas Day. I've been thinking a lot about how Mama filled up her own Love Bank. I remember the mesmerizing stories she told me on the way to my dancing classes and how sometimes that was the best part of going to dance class! I remember her playing Lincoln Logs and taking us swimming, or just driving the car around to explore (back in the day when gasoline prices weren't an issue!) Now that she is gone, these are the sweet memories that keep her near to me. And I see even more clearly how she tried to do that with my children as she rocked them heart-to-heart, and told them stories of growing up in the depression and world war II, or by showing up to every soccer game and piano recital. And what an opportunity did Sam have to be homeschooled almost exclusively by his grandmother for the first eight years of his education!

Most of the articles I read for or against homeschooling seem to concentrate on academics and socialization. Those seem to be the big issues for everyone. But after 15 years as a homeschooling mom, those seem trivial to me now. I know we'll get long division and algebra and read the great classics and study history and know basic geography. But what is the most important thing to me now is how much we become "family" for each other. When Noah and Gabe compete against each other in spelling or goof around when they are supposed to be doing math, they are learning to love each other and they are building lifelong warm memories as brothers. When they help their little sister get a drink, or when Sam helps Izzy finish her homework, they are building their own loving support system that will be there long after I am gone.

Going into the new year, I take Missey's words to heart. I include memory making as an important part of our curriculum, and do our best today to meet the challenges of the future. Tomorrow's worries will be here soon enough.



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1 comment:

Mud Puddle Soup said...

I do remember Missey!

If you feel led, I'd love for you to help spread the word. I've created a post on my blog to help keep Missey's precious insight alive and spreading to others.

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