The kids have been managing their own school these days. In the middle of January, I made them each a clipboard with their names and the words Third Quarter at the top. Their subjects were listed Monday through Friday, so all they have to do is the next lesson in the workbook for each subject. At the beginning of February we took a week off regular school and the spent the mornings in our pajamas watching documentaries on Arctic and Antarctic explorations, including The Search for the Northwest Passage.
I’ve slowly begun disassembling the schoolroom. It actually breaks my heart a little to write that. I’ve started with the things that make it obviously school-like. The handmade calendar still on December was the first thing to go. This week, while I rested on the guest room bed downstairs, the kids cleared an entire wall with a hammer and stapler remover, taking down the giant fabric tree, along with the chalkboard. The boys then took every last dirty and cat peed on pillows from the story corner out to the dumpster.
I have loved that room, but was too much for me to keep holding onto. Not just in matters of the physical upkeep, but also in the way it held too many reminders of the things I wasn’t doing, of the things that I was unable to do. I don’t mean that so much in a depressing, putting down myself kind of way, but more like a realizing the need to work within my limits kind of way. My kids are not small children anymore, snuggling up under my arms as we read the Jesus story book Bible every day with our school snacks.
Even taking that much down feels so much better. I love homeschooling, and hope to keep on doing it. But I am also a free spirit, which means I need freedom. I need to have change, and I need to be able to do things, within reason, the way I want to do them. With homeschooling that means that I want to do it well, and doing it well means doing in a way that is mutually beneficial to all parties involved. As soon as that ceases to be the case, we make adjustments for the person who is needing the adjustment to thrive.