Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool and Introverted Moms
There’s been so much written lately to help the influx of new homeschoolers this year, those who’ve joined our ranks as you’ve decided it’s best for your kids’ educations at this unique moment.
Much of this helpful information has guided you when it comes to choosing curriculum, setting schedules, and creating routines.
Today, however, I wanted to focus on five joys that await you this this back to school season, whether you’re a sudden, unexpected home educator or homeschooling has been your plan all along.
I pray that keeping an eye out for these magical moments will help you through both the good and the bad days that will inevitably come. And even if you’ve been homeschooling a decade or more like I have, you have these to look forward to again this year!
1. A magical read-aloud moment
If you’ve researched homeschooling much, you’ve likely read about the importance of reading aloud, and how it can be an incredibly powerful and simple way to help our kids learn.
But if you’ve been trying to integrate reading-aloud into your days, particularly with more than one child, you’ve likely seen for yourself that it isn’t always picture perfect.
A good friend of mine, who uses a literature-based curriculum, jokes about the day years ago when she called her kids to the table for read-aloud time, and one frustratingly replied, “When I grow up I’m never reading another book again!”
This was not exactly the family bonding and love of learning atmosphere she had hoped for!
I can personally remember many read-aloud sessions where sibling torture and vacant stares predominated, where I wondered if any of my three children was even paying attention.
But then suddenly, unexpectedly, magic happens. Everyone is engaged, on the edge of their seat. Everyone begs for one more page or chapter. And it hits you, “This! This is why I do what I do!”
You can never predict when that moment will appear, but eventually, it will. And it’s exhilarating.
2. A magical learning moment
“SLOW – KIDS AT PLAY.”
As we walked around the block one school morning a decade ago, my son Jonathan read those words from a neighborhood sign. He hadn’t had any reading lessons yet, and I had no idea that he could do it.
I was there. I heard every sweet syllable.
Just like watching our kids take their first steps or hearing them say “Mama” for the first time, learning “firsts” are equally magical, and they can happen no matter the age of your child.
You might see your son read for the first time or watch your daughter write her first sentence.
Perhaps there’s an area of struggle that is grueling for both you and your child, and a burst of insight strikes out of nowhere. He gets it, where before he was stuck.
And you? You were the one who helped him. It doesn’t get any better than that!
Or maybe you’ll see a child develop a passion for a subject or topic–one that she never would have had time for if she had been at school. Suddenly she’s investing hours in her own learning, without you having to prompt or give reminders at all.
Slowly, you glimpse her natural love of learning, the one she always had as a curious toddler and preschooler, returning. It makes all the hard work seem worth it.
3. A magical emotional moment
Sometime this year, there will be tears. Yours and theirs. Some of those tears will come on the really hard days that make their way to each of us in this life with its challenges.
But others? Will be healing tears. Because of the extra hours homeschooling gives to families, important internal issues that might have gone unnoticed will rise to the surface sooner.
There’s simply fewer places to hide or stuff them down.
One morning, you might find a child or teen crying. You’ll take a deep breath and summon the patience to listen. That moment will transform into a magical gift.
Your child will open up, and you’ll know it never would have happened if he or she had been away from you all day.
4. A magical moment of protection
At least once this year, you’ll hear about something going on at the school down the street–whichever school your children would be attending if you weren’t home educating.
It could be bullying, mask requirements, an outbreak of COVID, or hours that young children now have to spend on Zoom. It could even be something much more serious, unexpected, and tragic, like the call I received years ago about the devastating school shooting in our neighborhood.
You’ll hang up the phone or log off the computer and look at your child, happily playing with a Lego village on the floor. Safe and oblivious to whatever is going on.
And you’ll give thanks.
5. A magical family moment
When I had three elementary-aged children, they couldn’t seem to spend five minutes in each other’s presence without engaging in some form of sibling squabble.
Very close in age, there inevitably seemed a competition underway to see who could come out on top, who had the most power.
But now and then there would also be magic. One day we returned from a field trip and I left the kids to play outside for a while.
When I looked out the window, I saw this:
I grabbed my camera to go document the magic–all of them playing, kindly, together. Years later, this photo is still one of my heart’s treasures!
This magic can also happen with your extended family (or those who feel like family, whether or not you’re actually related). Homeschooling allows relatives to get involved, to be a part of our kids’ educations.
That day when you watch your mom on Zoom, doing a read aloud or sharing one of her own passions with your children, will be a moment you’ll cherish forever.
Homeschooling can be hard, yes. Make no mistake about that.
But you’re also entering a year of adventure!
I pray that each day brings you a little gift, one that reminds you that all you’re doing on behalf of your children deeply matters, and that no one else is equipped to do it quite like you can.
Enjoy the magic!
Do you have a magical moment from your homeschooling days, weeks, months, or years that you’d like to share below? I’d love to hear it!
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