These are random photos that I didn't include in other posts on the blog. Maybe a conglomeration to illustrate the diversity of interests and activities that make up our homeschooling life?
This schooling year was full, just as all the other years have been. Each year seems to take on its own character and themes. With life transitions occurring last Summer and our future a bit up in the air, I made no out-of-the-home commitments for the children's school year. Our life is flexible, so I could have committed to something at any time throughout the year, but didn't.
It's easy to think that saying "no" or "not right now" is depriving a child of the opportunity to grow, learn, become, accomplish. And although we've chosen a schedule with flexible free time, I knew that this year would mean an excessive amount of free time. As a homeschooling mom I'm more than aware of the opportunities available outside of the home. Jesse experienced public school; I experienced private school. We were involved in sports, music and academics. There are even more activities available outside the school setting in which to enroll your children; more now, even, than when we were children. With excess availability in this country it is easy to let doubting thoughts creep in that if you don't take advantage you're doing wrong by your children.
For this past year, though, it turns out that a break from music lessons, sports, even a monthly homeschool social gathering was a great thing for us. In their own time each of those extras complimented our lives in a nice way. Last year was not the best time for those extras. The breathing room made us realize one child wants to continue learning music and the other doesn't. Interest in new sports and art were discovered. New friendships were made in a new church.
With Ella entering 7th grade and Roone entering 5th grade there are natural growing pains and transition struggles that occur with aging. We haven't committed to anything for next year, either, so far. It might be best to say, "yes" to more than one opportunity, but I hope if that is the case we are just as prayerful and mindful as we were last year when saying "no."