When my daughter Lucy was three, I decided to get intentional about her education.
I wanted to homeschool long-term, but knew I was not an ideal candidate: I like quiet, order, and long-range projects. I also felt a little cuckoo stuck at home. With 18 hours a day to kill, I counted the days until fifth grade.
After a bunch of research, I leaned in the airy-fairy direction for learning: lots of play, encouraging Lucy to follow her interests. However, self-directed learning goes slowly in five-minute increments. I needed a little structure.
Me being me, I made a spreadsheet.
I labeled the days of the week, and then in each square, I printed a subject area. Underneath I made lists of activities under each heading from books, websites, and Montessori catalogues.
I was ready. I had been flexible and strategic.
I hoped the plan would fix me.
I longed to homeschool my daughter. I had grown up mostly without my siblings, my father worked in other cities for most of my childhood, even my mom had often been gone when I got home from school. I so desperately wanted to be together with my kids. It was a bone-deep ache.
But I did not trust myself. I did not trust my patience and maternal goodness to last long without a plan. I did not trust myself to be kind to my kid.
If I couldn’t hack it, I’d enroll her in school rather than destroy our relationship. But then my dream of all-day togetherness would be over.
I didn’t trust myself, but I wanted to. I wanted to grow into the kind of mom who could handle being with young children all day. The plan was a start.
But what I did not admit to myself was this: I needed to be that mom now. I sensed something inside me was going to give if the hours did not get shorter.
This moment from my early days of homeschooling isn’t just about homeschooling. It’s about the surrender any hard thing requires of us, especially when changeable, frustrating human beings are involved. Won’t you join me at SheLoves for the rest?