It’s the relationship, Sweetheart
Remind yourself: My daughter and I can tackle algebra more easily if we like each other.
When he spills the Cheerios right after you told him to wait for you,
Let the lava flow of irritation run through you, but don’t spill it onto his little head. Remember: He won’t always spill Cheerios, but he will be grateful that I’m not the type to lose my cool.
When you can’t squeeze another chapter into the end of the year, and you’re disappointed in yourself for not being more disciplined,
Notice: My children like me. I like them. I can let that be enough, because it is.
When heartbreak threatens to steal your memories, when you don’t know how to get to the next space because it’s unfamiliar and riddled with loss, hold on. Tell yourself: It will be okay because I love and am loved. I’ll get to the other side by loving, not by fearing.
When one of your children doesn’t like you right now,
This too shall pass: My love and like are big enough for the both of us. I can let my natural devotion and affection lead me, not my resentment, nor my anxiety, nor my anger.
When you imagine your children in the future, what do you see? Inside jokes, vacations at the beach, memories of outings taken and books read, big hugging reunions, foods to share, games to play?
These start now. I can do them now. I will value them now.
In the end, the book learning will come (sometimes quickly and ahead of schedule, sometimes in college, sometimes not until one your children decides to home educate his or her offspring).
What can never be scheduled or studied, crammed or tested is love.
Homeschooling is a performance of love between family members over a sustained, daily, intimate period of years, led by a parent who puts relationship ahead of books.
Check in with yourself today.
Be present to your children.
Love one another.
Image by Julie Jordan Scott