We have had an uneventful week off—so uneventful, in fact, that I kept postponing this blog post. I simply could not think about how to give a voice to what I wanted to say.
One great thing about a break from homeschooling is that you get an opportunity to step back from the trenches and take note of what is and what is not happening. The truth is that, at this point in our journey, I do not have to make many adjustments. At the intersection of her learning style and my educational goals for her, there is a good balance of rigor and relaxation. There is also an understanding on my part that I will never be able to make everything as fun as I would like it to be in my head, and a resignation on her part that she has to think deeply and work diligently, even if all she really wants to do is dance.
That brings me to our fall break. One of the things she did was dance. And dance. And dance. Our local dance center reopened in its temporary home after the original facility lost a fight with Tropical Storm Harvey. I was happy for her that our many talks about being obedient to seasons with God, and how your gifts will make a way for you, are finally coming to fruition. She is taking on more responsibilities as a leader in addition to getting some awesome opportunities at other dance centers in the area. Meanwhile, I am finally understanding that, as a dance mom, when your child truly taps into her passion, both feet rarely stay on the ground.
There is a weird, but appreciable, connectivity to all this dancing and where our school is going. Because of our daughter’s passions and learning style, I backed off of some of the seat work and allowed her a discovery day. In theory, this day would be about as close as I get to an unschooling methodology. But a friend of mine articulated best the dilemma I see in our home: when a child is accustomed to being told what to do, a day with no other instruction except, “What are we going to do today?” leaves said child a bit lost. My joke in the last few weeks—to myself, to her, and to a small group of homeschool moms—has been that what she likes to discover most is what it feels like to sleep late. My inclination, of course, has been to step in and schedule the day for her, and at times we have had to since dance now requires her time literally every evening. Perhaps the biggest adjustment will be my own, as I work to gently guide this mid-week time into something meaningful without taking it back completely.
Pastor preached this morning from Mark 9, where Peter, James, and John were with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Peter was so overwhelmed until he just had to say something, though he knew not what to say (verses 5-6). It must have been an amazing time. Every now and then, we have a “mountaintop” experience in our homeschool; every subject connects, those lights in the eyes and brain are fully on, and we leave the kitchen table still talking about something we discussed earlier. I don’t live near any mountains, but as a girl who sometimes fished with her father, I use the term “honey hole.”
The problem is, as Pastor explained, mountaintop (or honey hole) experiences do not last; at some point, we have to travel back and deal with the mundane aspects of life. The question then becomes, can we maintain mountaintop momentum, even when all around us screams uneventful, normal, or monotonous, even?
We had a good start to our hybrid 8th grade/9th grade year, getting back to the fundamentals of what we do here and putting finishing touches on that middle school foundation. Next semester, we will take on even more of her high school studies, which is my particular favorite time to teach. Why? Because of how much I learn (lol). In these remaining weeks, however, I press forward, praying through my own adjustments, believing God that she will discover something other than the warmth of her bed sheets, and embracing the days with mountaintop momentum.