Sometimes, I don’t know that something is knocking around in my brain/heart/soul until it spills out in writing, either here or on paper.
I do this thing (not all the time, just sometimes) called Morning Pages, which is an idea from this book. I’ve also heard it called free-writing, but the big difference is that Morning Pages must be done in the morning, and you have to write three pages.
I’m not sure why it’s three. I question a lot of things, but I don’t question that.
Funny things come out during morning pages, and sometimes funny things come out when I am typing — here or elsewhere.
Like recently, I found myself replying via keyboard to another mama that one of my biggest homeschooling regrets is that I didn’t listen to my own heart more when my kids were little.
I got really hung up on “doing it right,” and prescribing to certain philosophies that outlawed LEGOs and books written after 1920.
It wasn’t really that bad, but it’s a very true statement to say that I let other, well-meaning people, a few of whom were super dead, tell me how to homeschool my kids, and I bought into that business 100 percent even though sometimes it didn’t feel right.
I was primarily influenced by Waldorf philosophy early on, which is a wonderful, nurturing approach to learning. But it was also created by an old Austrian dude who never met a TV.
There is SO MUCH GOOD about Waldorf. But, there were also a couple of things that didn’t fit for our family.
When I eventually found the freedom to choose the things that did work and leave the rest, it was amazing. I decided we were Waldorf-inspired homeschoolers, then Waldorf-inspired unschoolers, then I decided to just drop the labels completely and just be Andersons.
I’ll tell you about Anderson-style homeschooling:
It’s messy. It’s heavily influenced by Charlotte Mason, and Pam Barnhill and Jamie Martin and my sisters at Simple Homeschool and Sarah Mackenzie and Julie Bogart and Rachel Wolf and Beatrix Potter (she was homeschooled!) and my friends who live right here and meet me on Tuesdays to drink tea and talk about stuff, and recently, an old pal I sat with on a couch while our kids jumped on trampolines. She gave me some ideas for math, and I got all excited, because Anderson-style homeschooling changes sometimes to keep up with students’ needs.
I think one of the best things about pulling from a wide variety of resources is that I don’t get hung up on any one way, and instead I borrow here and there, and I feel OK trying things out for a while and then stopping if it doesn’t work.
I’m having a lot of fun on Periscope right now, connecting with other homeschool moms who share real life moments. Somehow, that feels more relatable to me than advice from people who never drove a car.
But then, sometimes good advice is timeless, so I don’t discount that either.
So I want to say that if I can give you a little piece of advice from our very imperfect homeschool, it would be to please listen to your own mama heart.
No one else really knows your kids, your situation, your life.
People who had ideas 100 years ago or even last week can not know what it feels like to be you. So they may have lovely advice, but please take it like you would a scoop of that odd glop at a potluck — try a bite and if you can’t figure out if it’s dessert or a casserole, just put your napkin over it and move on …
It’s OK. You really want your kids to remember life and learning with YOU — however that looks.
Settle in. Or make changes, but do it your way.
Because your way is OK, really.
In fact, when you find your way, it will feel imperfect, maybe, but also just right.