Monday, August 17, 2015

Flexible Flyer

Flexible Flyer was the name of a sled I once had.  It came to mind as I gave a new-to-homeschooling mom my standard advice: "Be flexible."  Flexibility is the beauty of homeschooling.  Someone else asked me about homeschooling yesterday--when we start and finish--and I said, "Everyone is different."  How nice is that?  Whatever works, and that can change as needed.

Rigidity is probably the worst thing for our homeschool.  I've even seen "unschoolers" who can become rigid in their unschooling.  In my mind, it is more "free" to be able to impose structure, when necessary, than to be so dedicated to being "radical" that you can't do something different.  Any ideology can become paralyzing, if you let it.

I don't homeschool to fit within a group or philosophy.  I do it for many reasons, but mainly because I love being with my kids, meeting them where they're at, and going from there.  I'll admit there are times when it's hard--when we disagree.  Then I have to decide if we are going in the wrong direction or not.  I have tossed out many lesson plans and curricula over the years.  We have also had our "buckle down" times, feeling greatly accomplished when we get through it.  It is truly a "one day at a time" thing.

And while we're on 12-step slogans, let's not forget this one: ego = "edging God out."  If I am not careful it is extremely easy to do this.  Homeschooling, like anything else in life, is a situation where God is present.  There are wonderful moments when a new bird comes into the yard, or we discover something unexpectedly.  Sometimes things just fall into place and we get sidetracked, learning all the lyrics to the "Erie Canal" song.  That is the "flying" part in my Flexible Flyer analogy. That is homeschooling at its best.  But it won't happen if I don't let it.