Pick a passion
This year, as you plan, pick an area of interest for yourself. It could be learning how to cultivate African violets (that was mine!) or how to quilt. It could be art history or learning to play acoustic guitar. It might be studying personality types through the enneagram or exploring the skies with a telescope. You might be fascinated by therapies for language impaired kids. You might ache to hike the gorge near your house.
Perhaps you want to become a blogger or start a business organizing people’s homes for them. Maybe you wish you could cut hair or learn Latin. What about geo-caching or running a marathon?
You might paint, pot, or write slam poetry.
You can learn algebra from the ground up, just because you want to prove to yourself that you are smart enough to learn it.
Growing an herb garden so you can make your own pesto, dying wool to knit, sanding the old kitchen table and painting it turquoise blue, joining a fantasy football team online…
Any of these constitute learning that is yours, that engages you with the world around you and the process of learning. Not all of what you do has to have immediate applicability to homeschool, either. You don’t have to pass on what you are learning, though I promise it will bleed into the rest of your lives together.
When you make time for your own learning, you discover what it is to learn—to self-teach. You discover how you evaluate what fosters learning and what constitutes a dead end. You engage a process that teaches you what teaches.
All of you benefit when you become a curious, self-guiding, learner in your own right! Go sign up for that yoga class or enter grad school for history, just because.
Be a labor coach or a La Leche League meeting host.
Bike. Swim. Read the entire Jane Austen canon and then watch all the films that go with it.
Write a novel in a month.
Make your own ice cream.
Take tap lessons.
Hang dry wall.
The world is not just waiting for your kids to grow up. It’s waiting for you too. Get out in it. Explore it. Enjoy it. Live it—with your kids, in front of your kids, for yourself.
Image by Abigail Batchelder
Between working and homeschooling, I rarely make time for myself. I often feel that I am running very close to empty. My focus is always on giving to others – to kids, spouse, and employer – and never to myself. I truly appreciate this post, because it reminds me of the value and necessity of filling myself up, and that “the act of filling” will ultimately spill over to the ones I love and teach. Thank you for the thought provoking post today.