Monday, September 6, 2010


Hope is passion for what is possible.  -Soren Kierkegaard

So I finished my first week of homeschool, and am staring the start of the second right in the eye.  As is my wont, I spent a large part of the week in pointless and soul-sucking introspection, wondering if in fact I was doing the right thing - especially when the whine of I'm BORED! sounded on the first afternoon. Let's be very clear, my dear readers:  it is not without conflict and drama-filled trepidation that we decided to go this route.

But it was a happy week when Madam Teacher forgot her navel-gazing for a few minutes here and there.  We found an easy pace: a cheerful energy of busy-ness, with workbooks, dry erase boards, and a few Dick & Jane stories.  We searched high and low for rectangles and squares in the house, we added [and subtracted! mmm..] cookies at snack time, and we learned about surface tension with a giant-sized bubble wand. 

At the end of every school day, I was filled with butterflies-fluttering nervous energy - very much like the feeling of riding a two wheeler on your own the very first time.  I'm doing it!  I'm really truly doing it!

Tonight I came across this video, and it stopped me short.  In it, Kirsten Dirksen talks about her slower-paced childhood, her constant conflict of busy-ness and stillness in parenting, and the critical importance of achieving a pace of life that fits for your child.  She uses terms like 'slow parenting', 'free-range parenting,' and 'idle parenting' - all of these phrases intended to describe the idea that perhaps our children need less - less scheduling, less focus, less playthings - rather than more.

When I finished watching this, I had the same butterflies-fluttering feeling again.  And I realized that what I was feeling was the fluttering of hope within me.  

Hope that as a parent I may be finding the path towards what Dirksen calls "a good pace."  Hope that we are creating the space to find the right speed.  Hope that my children will see more of me reading - reading to myself.  

Hope that by diverging from the Official Path in this small way, I will find a trail that is a good match for my little tribe. 

I am full of hope, all of the sudden, and that?  Is no bad thing for a teacher.


I'm posting on Hope as part of Bridget Chumbley's One Word at a Time Blog Carnival. But keep your eyes peeled - hope is going to be a theme for the blog this week.  There's a fair amount I'm hopeful about these days. Again, no bad thing.


S. Etole said...

Your children are very fortunate ... blessings on your schooling journey.

CaraBee said...

Hope is the very best feeling a teacher, or parent for that matter, can have. So glad that despite your concerns you have found your way to that place! I look forward to hearing more about this journey!

Kathleen Overby said...

Enjoy the freedom it gives you. :)

cristina said...

thank you for sharing the video.. it's wonderful that you are finding your pace in this adventure. :)

Glynn said...

Parenting in continuous learning, I think. Both of my sons are grown, one with a family of his own, and I still getting those fluttering moments.

Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

Good for you. I suffer from the same worries. Even though I don't homeschool, the constant pressure for kids to be involved in everything keeps me questioning my decision to say not be as involved as other parents.

HisFireFly said...


Listen and He will lead you, sometimes quietly and sometimes with a shout.

JC Dude said...

My wife and I have home schooled seven kids...the results so far?

Three kids in college and all loving Christ. You have chosen wisely and don't give up hope!


Anne Lang Bundy said...

After seventeen years of homeschooling, I still feel all of these emotions at moments.

And I think you're off to a mah-velous start, Kirsten!

Anonymous said...

I love that feeling! Blessings over all of you... sounds like you're doing an amazing job. Thanks for sharing with us, Kirsten.

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