Friday, March 2, 2007

Embracing Flexibility

I know a lot of homeschooling families, including mine, who maintain that "flexibility" is one of the reasons they chose to homeschool. The problem is, as we get further and further into academics, even those of us who embrace the term "relaxed" often forego flexibility for..."getting stuff done." Finishing a chapter, "catching up" in a workbook, checking off another week on our schedules. This was a week I feel good about. I was in touch with my inner-homeschooler, and we released great blocks of time simply to hang out with family and friends.

My brother Stephen was in town from Tuesday through Thursday. Often I am irritated when he visits because he does so unexpectedly and with no definite plans. I want to know when he will arrive and when he will depart. But he doesn't operate like that. If he had children whom he homeschooled, he would be unschooling's greatest advocate. But this visit I literally stopped and reminded myself that flexibility applies to more than just choosing to do more history and less handwriting. Flexibility should include taking advantage of moments as they come to us.

And so, this week brought a winter picnic with nearly my whole nuclear family--only our brother James was missing. I think it must thrill my mother to have us all together if just for an afternoon.

And this week brought a couple of jam session with my brother John on the mandolin and Jesse on his guitar. Jesse's fingers were sore, but the music shared between my brother and my son was a moment I'm glad we didn't let slip by.

And this week brought a day filled with friends. Thursday we attended a play with our support group and ate lunch together afterwards. Reluctant to let go of her friends, Laurel begged for Clea and Tae'lor to come over after lunch. Why not? For me, it meant three hours of joyful conversation with their mom, my wonderful friend Sheila.

I feel good at the end of this week. We took time to enjoy people we love--to put family and friends above textbooks and timelines. And that is homeschooling at its finest.

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