Last year was our fifth year homeschooling and, as the year came to a close, I found myself feeling…bored. I usually love the springtime. With spring comes new curriculum catalogs and all the hopes and dreams for the next year. But this time I just didn’t feel that same excitement. I had become bored in our homeschool and was saddened by the fact that even planning season lost its charm. So, I made it my mission, for the rest of the spring and summer, to reignite the passion that I once felt so deeply. Here is what I found.
1. I needed to continue with my professional development. When I first began homeschooling I was hungry for all the information that I could find. I read many books, beginning with The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. I searched websites and Pinterest boards. I attended conferences and got lost in the glory of it all. This quest for knowledge helped fuel my passion. As I became more settled in homeschooling, I did these things a little less. I didn’t have as many “how to” questions.
Nevertheless, this summer I made a point to read some method books. I began with The Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola. No matter what the profession, it is important to continue to grow and learn. Not just to improve how the job is done, but also, to keep engaged. I also realized that, although I didn’t have as many “how to” questions anymore, it was important to keep the “why” fresh in my mind.
2. I remembered how important it was to continue my education. This is similar to the professional development point but different. When I began homeschooling, I loved all the new things that I learned. I enjoyed our journey through history, science, the arts, and even grammar. As my students grew, they also increased in their ability to complete larger amounts of their work independently. Last year, it was my goal to increase independence even more. We were successful in that goal but I think it did steal some of our joy.
So what was the solution? Well, for me, it was to find a middle ground for independent work and family work. We brought back those subjects that we loved to do together, which made me remember how much I enjoyed learning along with my kiddos. I am revisiting the personal reading that I had been inspired to do when we first began our adventure. I haven’t found time for everything yet, but, I now have a list of things that I would like to learn and hope to begin working on a few. Even if you are a mom in a season of homeschooling where your children are doing most of their work independently, don’t forget to learn independently right alongside them. It will keep your fire burning, model what you want for them, and hopefully, produce some great conversations.
3. I had to connect with other homeschool moms. We moved to a new state shortly before our fifth year began. We had left a great support community but since I felt comfortable with our homeschool, and my kids had other outside activities, I didn’t pursue new homeschool relationships right away. This summer I realized that, no matter where I was in my homeschool journey, I would always need the encouragement and support of other moms going through this same adventure. Professionals need professional peers and mentors, and we, as moms, are no different. This year we have started a small co-op in our area and I am enjoying meeting some new families.
So the diagnoses for my lack of passion…laziness. I had become comfortable and lazy. Not physically lazy but more mentally. I had stopped pursuing growth. Perhaps, I had become a little lost in this new season of older learners as well. I had become the dust, idly sitting on these bottles, instead of the wine beautifully aging inside. –Lisa
*This lovely photo was taken by the talented Tanner Hawkes while we were on a homeschool moms’ trip to Italy through Landry Academy. You can find her on Facebook, Tanner Hawkes Photography