I had to keep my last post short, I can’t believe how emotional it made me when I wrote it down. I guess everything bubbles over when you actually realise what you are doing. Time just keeps moving and it is so important to stop and reflect on it all, to feel all the feelings that go with it.
Anyway, once we found our home we decided to continue our homeschooling journey with the children. We were blessed that this area has a wonderful homeschool community and it wasn’t long before we made our way into it. Everybody home schools for different reasons and our community is eclectic in its approaches. We found families with similar philosophies who we caught up with regularly and we slowly but surely made some friends.
As time passed and I explored what I wanted for my children and understood what they were wanting for themselves, I decided to create a ‘Learning Studio’ space. The children wanted to be with their friends, to make more friends and to spend their days exploring and learning with them. This is a little more tricky when you homeschool, families are extremely busy and live all over the region. We did have regular weekly catchups, playing in the parks, but I wanted to create a space for the children and their friends to learn together too.
We converted our garage into a studio space; whitewashed the walls, built tables and spray painted old shelving for storage. We were ready to go! We had a couple of lovely families join us for a time and then things went a little quiet, it was not taking off like I’d hoped. There was more going on.
This part is difficult for me to write. I would love to continue writing about how great everything was but I can’t and essentially, we are all of our experiences not just the good ones. So here goes…
The children seemed largely uninspired and I was finding it increasingly difficult to encourage them to do anything. We were struggling with technology, as it seemed that was all they wanted to do and Trent and I were fighting a lot. He was not happy with what the children were doing. As for me, I continued to cling so tightly to what I was trying to do, to what I believed could be incredible. In truth, I kept brushing aside the possibility that things were not working. Reflecting on it now; it just hurt so much. I felt like I was failing and that everything I believed was rubbish. The most confronting thought was that maybe it was just me, that maybe I just did not have what it takes. I felt alone, that it was me against the world and that everyone was just waiting to say, “I told you so!” We now lived in this spectacular place and everything was falling apart for me.
It took a very difficult conversation with Trent to crack me open. He has always been the one person who challenges me over the edge of comfort and even though it is extremely difficult, I will always be grateful for that. I decided to ask myself for the truth and I realised that I was holding on too tightly. One of the things I am most passionate about is Freedom, that my children are free to be who they are and to create their own lives. I realised, however, that them not being free, is also one of my greatest fears. I was holding on so tightly out of that a fear, that I was actually smothering us all. I wasn’t allowing myself options. The last thing I wanted to do was to send my children to school and into a system that I believe is flawed in so many ways. What were my choices? I felt like I didn’t really have any but I knew I had to make a decision that served us all.
I decided to send the children back to school. It was time for me to eat my own words. I constantly say to people that we must trust our children and trust how we have raised them. Well, now it was my turn. I do trust them with all of my heart; they are strong, they are resilient and they have us to support them if things get difficult. I know in my heart, behind my need to protect them from harm, lies an incredible belief in them. I know they will be okay.
We tried part-time school (3 days) but were quickly shut down by the system and so took the plunge full time. The children chose a local public school and off they went… leaving me alone with myself!