I have just spent the last four days digging out my office/classroom after a summer of frenetic travel on behalf of Calvert. Having had the privilege of talking with homeschooling families in 13 states this year, I am astonished at the lengths parents will go to provide the BEST for their children.
If you had seen my classroom in the last month, you would have thought that Attila and the Huns had set up camp here. I am delighted to say we are now ready to go, and there IS carpet on the floor of this room – but it took two full recycle bins worth of cleaning.
However, the days of endless cleaning and organizing have given me some time to reflect on the last 20 years, and I do think, were I allowed, I would ask for a couple of re-dos.
Take More Joy
First, I would take more joy in the journey. Be less focused on product (e.g. schoolwork produced) and more focused on person. It IS a privilege to get to study my kids. I wish I had studied some of them harder. Especially the teenagers – they are a breed unto themselves. I hope I have the good sense to study the two boys who are still here.
Read More Books
Second, I would make them read more. There are whole worlds in books. I wish some of my children had found those worlds sooner. I read all the time, but I wish my kids found the worlds of books as fascinating as they do those digital crack machines (you know, iPads and iPods). That means we are going to start a family reading adventure again – we used to do this when my older 4 kids were younger, and I want to get back to that!
Count Your Blessings
Third, I would stop counting the cost and start counting the blessings. Calvert has given us such a fabulous education. I have spent a lot of time counting the cost of materials, from grade school to high school, and now with another high-schooler in the offing, I have neglected to be grateful that Calvert did so much of the work for me. I am looking forward to a Calvert high school experience, because this lesson planning stuff is for the birds!
Schedule Field Trips
Fourth, I would have taken more field trips. My eldest son says that homeschoolers can make ANY trip into a field trip – but I wish we had made more of a concerted effort to see the world around us. This year I am scheduling two field trips a month – right on the calendar!
Keep a Journal
Fifth, I wish I had kept a journal. The school years have flown, and more years have passed than will pass – I wish I had written down the funny events, the difficult events, and yes, even the trying times. Remembering those would help me look to the past with laughter and look to the future with encouragement.
It is said that wisdom is someone else’s experience. I won’t say these observations are wisdom, but I encourage you, particularly if you are beginning the journey, to think on these things. I wish you the joy of the journey.
- Gretchen Roe
Gretchen hosts a variety of free webinars. She offers Calvert Online Information Sessions once a week as well as family seminars on topics ranging from dealing with digital addiction to kick-starting a new school year.