“Don’t turn on the news and kiss my babies for me.” My entire perspective changed with that one phone call. Almost two thousand innocent people lost their lives that Tuesday morning; what if one of them had belonged to me?
We had only been homeschooling a few weeks. I had read every homeschooling book I could get my greedy little hands on. I had a plan, and my plan included an hour of SAT test practice every day of high school. I was certain that high test scores combined with a solid early foundation would ensure my children’s success.
But what if?
What if it had been one of them? What if their lives had been severed that morning?
What if I did everything the experts encouraged? What if I planned every moment of their lives in preparation for that perfect test score, that coveted acceptance letter, that full ride — but their lives were cut short? It happens every day. Teenagers die of illness or car accidents all too often, right at the moment when they are to reap the rewards of all their labors.
I made a promise that day. I would not sacrifice my children’s childhood preparing them for an adulthood that may never come.
My goal was no longer to give them a successful future life. I wanted to give them a beautiful current one. We skipped school that day. Instead, we spent the day in the sunshine, on the patio, painting Halloween decorations on wooden boards we hauled out of the trash. As the children painted, I thought about my promise. I could never forgo Latin and Logic and books by the greatest writers who ever lived. What could be more beautiful than those?
I could balance them, though. I could fill our days with meaningful work,
and healthy food,
time with family
and time with friends.
Almost thirteen years later, I have graduated two children and have another with one foot out of the door. It’s time to evaluate my methodology: Have I reached my goals?
“Are you doing what you want, Sweetheart? Are you happy?”
“Yes, Mom, very.”
*featured photo by Gretchen Phillips*
Genevieve–is a former public and private school teacher who has five children and has been homeschooling for the past thirteen years. In her free time she provides slave labor to Dancing Dog Dairy, making goat milk soap and handspun yarn, which can be seen on
Our Facebook Page and at Dancing Dog Dairy .