Written by Rozanne Dioso-Lopez of Tomfoolery and Shenanigans
During a recent bedtime tuck-in, my daughter was restless. She was already tossing and turning before I turned off the light.
I asked, “What’s up?”
She said, “Mama, I can’t sleep. I keep thinking of all the things to draw but I don’t know which one to draw first tomorrow.”
I smiled one of those all-knowing mama smiles and said, “Draw them all. Take as much time as you need.”
She hugs me and breathes a sigh of relief and settles herself into bed.
It is moments like these when I am grateful for homeschooling.
I am reminded of the most important gift that homeschooling has given my family, and more importantly, the gift I have given my children.
It is the gift of TIME.
When my kids were younger and we were tied to a school schedule, I grieved the time that I lost with them when I dropped them off at school. I rushed back and forth to different drop-off and pick-up locations at different times of the day.
My day became segmented into two-hour blocks of time. The baby would be strapped onto me and dragged in and out of the car.
That was my life. I was always too busy multi-tasking and never sat down to focus my time. I thought that was the deal with five kids. Wasn’t I supposed to feel fragmented and pulled in hundred different directions, running myself ragged?
But then we started to homeschool.
Homeschooling has allowed us to slow down the pace of our life because we can take charge of it.
We are not tied to another system’s timetable. We can follow a rhythm that fits our lifestyle.
When we are busy because of various commitments, we can choose to take a break from regularly-scheduled programming and have downtime together. We have increased both our quantity and quality of time.
Now every moment leaves room. There is room to explore possibilities, maybes, and what-ifs.
The kids have space to be curious for the sake of being curious and to learn for the sake of learning.
When we slow everything down, each act becomes a reverent prayer. We communicate with wonder and awe. We pay more attention and make deeper connections.
Everything can be done in earnest and with care. We can call homeschooling the slow learning movement.
“That is the way to learn the most, when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes.” – Albert Einstein
We have time for thoughtful discussion around the breakfast, lunch, and dinner table. A child can go deeper into a topic for weeks. They have time to fail over and over again and not even see it as failure but steps in figuring things out.
We are able to focus on the process and the attempts instead of the outcome.
They are permitted to get lost in their imaginative stories and narratives for days. We can also respect the need for solitude and time to let ideas percolate.
But most importantly, slowing down allows me to say YES.
YES to making perogies from scratch.
YES to a beach day.
YES to exploring a nature mystery.
YES to reading poetry all morning.
YES to math brain teasers.
YES to working on a film with friends for weeks.
YES to painting all day.
YES to sewing quilts.
YES to following the heart’s whim.
And YES to drawing it all.
In what ways has the gift of time benefitted your family?