When do you think you can declare your homeschooling efforts a success?
I was laying on my darkened hallway floor this afternoon, listening to my daughter playing her viola and began wondering if my homeschool efforts were successful. Would my kids turn out ok? How would I know we were on track?
Is it when your homeschooled medical school graduate gets a Nobel prize for literature and physics and in her acceptance speech she chalks it all up to you, her mom, who slaved night and day homeschooling her for 13 long years?
Ok, then let’s back up a bit.
Do you declare your homeschooling a success when your son turns 18 and is accepted into the college of his choice?
Well, that is a success and a likely one at that, but no that is not the first time you can declare your homeschooling efforts a success.
Are you getting the idea yet?
I will cut to the chase.
This afternoon I found myself laying on the hallway floor with my phone in hand frantically trying to find the recording app. I got it running and slowly snuck the end of the phone under my daughter’s bedroom door.
Well, she was sitting on her loft-bed castle in her fairytale room surrounded by painted green rolling hills and trees and dragons and under blue skies with happy little cloud-puffs. Her empty viola case was on her castle-wall desk. And as she sat perched in the castle tower that is her bed, she played Scottish music on her viola. The kind that makes me dance when I hear it and takes me away to visions of real green rolling hills far away across the ocean. I love to listen to my daughter when she plays that music. She plays only for herself. It gives her pleasure and soothes her soul. I do not know where her imagination takes her when she plays, but I suspect she travels over the hills and through the dales painted on her walls, where life is always bright and happy adventures are always just beyond the next tree.
As I lay on the dark hallway floor, trying not to make a sound as I slid my recording equipment under the door, I realized that this was a homeschool success moment. My daughter loves music and she learned the viola with minimal lessons (basically she learned how to hold the instrument followed by a year of lessons) and a huge amount of practice and self-determination. She methodically set about learning various hand positions and vibrato and bowing techniques using only some method books and a whole lot of homeschool-style initiative.
So what did I do to help her? Not a whole lot. I taught her how to go about learning something. I helped a bit with the music when she asked. And I got out of the way.
I think that getting out of the way is what homeschool moms do best. We allow our children to grow and develop their interests and their talents wherever they may lead. Usually through necessity, we teach them to be independent and to answer to themselves first. Our children miraculously grow into educated and driven adults.
And so I think that the first moment we can declare our homeschooling efforts a success is that moment when we, as mothers, decide that homeschooling is the right choice for us and that come what may, we will see the process through until our children are grown. That moment we decide that we will homeschool our kids until they are done with schooling and that nothing will stand in our way. Then we can declare to ourselves, quietly while we lay on the hallway floor with a recorder poked under our child’s bedroom door, our homeschooling efforts are a success.
So take heart, homeschool mom. And spend some time sitting back and watching all the great that your children do!