But, something is missing. This past Monday, we had by far the best and most productive homeschooling day yet in this entire journey so far. Lessons got completed, with smiles and giggles all around. I managed to do a pretty decent tidying up, got dinner prepped, and no one lost their shit. Not once. It was the kind of day that gives you the hope you hang on to as a homeschooling Momma, where you think "yes, this is working!"
And still, at the end of the day when the kids were in bed, I sat down and was overwhelmed with the sense that SOMETHING is missing in our homeschool. Maybe that day the only thing that was truly missing was the chaos that I usually feel by the end of the day. But nonetheless, something was nagging at me and I couldn't put my finger on it.
I've been chewing on this for a couple of days, thinking about what we could add or change. For someone like me, who hates change with a fiery passion, the homeschooling journey has been a lesson in adapting. So I'm gradually starting to embrace change, and grow as we move along our path, finding our way.
Fast forward to last night - a conversation occurred with E and I in our bedtime routine, regarding the privilege of education. He was moaning and griping that now that he could read he'd have to read "ALL. THE. TIME. uggggg" (his dramatics, not mine). I sat quiet for a few moments, and wondered if he was ready to hear how I felt about this, and decided that yes he was. And so I told him that sometimes it hurts me to hear him complain SO much about getting a good education. It hurts me because there are children, on this very day, fighting with their lives to be able to go to school and get an education. That there are children, right now, whose sole purpose is to survive their day and live to see the next sunrise - nevermind the luxury of sitting in a school learning to read. That getting an education, learning to read, and especially doing so in the comfort of a safe home - these things are a privilege not granted to everyone, that I wish he could see how truly blessed we are in our family that we can do this. Learning to read is not a burden, or a plight on your life.
I was worried, that I had gone to far or that I would wound him with my words - he is a deeply empathetic little guy, and he tends to take things into his heart and hold on to them. He feels very strongly about social justice already at a young age, so after I shared my thoughts I was scared that he'd end up having nightmares or being heartbroken.
But, I saw the flash of understanding across his face, and I could see in the change of his expression that he got it. And at that, I left it - and the kids and I snuggled into the bed and read a few chapters from a read aloud we're doing right now. I felt him snuggle a little closer, and could tell he was focused and engaged on what he was hearing. After we were done, and had said our goodnights E asked me "Mom can I read something tomorrow by myself, a chapter book?" I just smiled and said he would never need permission to read in this family - I would never say no.
After they were fast asleep, and I was tucking them in and making sure all was well before I headed to bed too, it hit me. My conversation with E reminded me of what seems to have been missing lately. Joy. The kind of excitement and joy you feel when you learn and discover. We've been going about our lessons, and everyone doing exceptionally well. But that spark, that little fire, has just been kind of dull these past few weeks.
I was reminded through that conversation with E, that I too had been taking this opportunity for granted. And so now, my purpose is to find ways (even if they are small) to maintain the joy and gratitude in our days. To remind ourselves that we are truly lucky in this life.