Seasons and Change
As we approach another school year, my planning cap is on, and I’m again reminded of the need to always be flexible. Every season brings something new, each child is their own unique person, and change can be a beautiful thing.
This year, my oldest will go to public school, as she did last year, for her 7th grade year. It was bittersweet last year when she left our homeschool fold and entered the public middle school, but we both felt in our soul that it was the right decision, and the school year confirmed that for us. More than one of her teachers commented to me that she gained a lot of confidence this last school year.
The other three will continue to homeschool, and they will be in 5th, 3rd, and 1st this year. Some things will stay the same, but I’ve felt called to change some things as well. My 5th grader desires to do more work on her own so that she can get it done on her own time (i.e. wake up and get it done asap in the morning), and the curriculum we have used so far is not as conducive to individual work.
When I started homeschooling, I put hours and hours into learning about methods to choose one (Charlotte Mason). Therefore, I am absolutely sold on the benefits of this method. But in order to change things up to give Brielle more work she can do on her own, we need to veer some away from this method. We will still hold to it in some ways (we love studying artists and learning poems and reading great literature), but not as strictly. And in this change, I am learning to let go. I am learning to see my child above a method and above my stubborn heart that can fight against change.
All of my children are social beings. (I have never worried about the socialization of my homeschool students! They’ve rarely met a stranger.) My 5th grader especially is needing more social outlets, though. I realized that if I want to continue homeschooling her that finding these outlets is absolutely necessary. She begins each day with, “What are we doing today?” to which I respond, “Staying home! That’s why we homeschool, silly!”
I joke, but absolutely I am more of a homebody than she is. So this year, we are doing more field trips with a local group of homeschoolers. This year, I am signing her up for several homeschool activities and groups in our areas. Gone are the days where we all sit at home in our PJs and read fairy tales and Beatrix Potter all morning. I mourn it at times… but what an exciting new season we’re in! My kids are growing more into their individual selves, and I love watching it happen.
I’ve had a lot of change in my own life the last few years. In 2020, I got a divorce. This was a massive change relationally and emotionally for me, but it also inspired deep changes in my heart and soul and impacted my finances, housing, and work load.
And now, this year in May, I remarried. Which has again changed so much. The deep soul connection I have with my new husband is powerful and beautiful. In some ways we are similar, and in other ways we are very different. We complement each other and bring strengths the other needs. When we married, we moved to a new, beautiful home—I never thought I would be sad to leave behind my home in town, but alas, we had grown to love it. Change is always bittersweet. Learning to do things as a single mom was challenging at times, and now I'm adjusting to having another adult who can help me, which is so wonderful at this stage where my kids are involved in more activities and I am actively seeking a writing career.
I am learning that the truths are the same.
With my children… know and honor them.
With myself… know and honor myself.
This will always mean change over time. We are not meant to stay the same. We are meant to learn and grow. We watch the seasons do it, and we stand in awe of the beauty and wonder in each, but we resist it so often in our own lives.
Everything shifted in my life, though, when I began to view change as good. Live life with an open hand. Keep your heart and eyes open to what lies ahead. Be amazed!