Oh homeschool. Can I be honest here amongst friends and sisters? You know, in the spirit of transparency and sharing the mess in between cute Instagram photos and stories of grandeur? While I love the idea, rationale, and even the necessity of homeschool (especially when it comes to raising free black children), I feel very uncertain that I’m cut out for such a task…and maybe even more uncertain that I’m up for the job.
You see, it’s not the homeschooling part that alludes me. It’s the deschooling or unschooling that I find myself having to do when it comes to MY OWN way of thinking that has me feeling so unbalanced and unprepared. It seems as if every other day, I find myself examining traditional “truths” regarding education and learning (among other things) that I’ve held for so long. The hardest part of homeschool is seeing those things through a new lens which is at best unnerving, at worst defeating.
Do you know how unsettling it feels to lead your children’s learning when you feel you have so much unlearning and relearning to do yourself?
The more I pay attention, the more I see so many ways that traditional school is failing us (and our black children) and that terrifies me. Mainly because there are
so many too many children who will never get a chance. And partly because, I’m still trying to decide if homeschooling is something we want (or can) pursue long term–which is a different story for a different day.
We’re still finding our way with our youngest, still allowing him the space to explore and it’s been a beautiful process to be a part of. He’s brilliant and creative and most importantly, free. If only it could remain as carefree and simple as it feels most days with a 5 year old. Learning side by side, hand in hand with him doesn’t feel so daunting.
But those heavy feelings find me with my third grader who has now solidly voiced his preference to homeschool next year and me agreeing with each and every reason he has to feel to this way. Not to mention the laundry list of reasons I have myself. And they get comfortable when experiencing a particularly tough seventh grade year for my oldest in an evaluation heavy (and disgustingly failing) system.
Just when I thought I had it all figured out.
Essentially, I still have lots of learning to do and that’s the hardest part of homeschool. The overwhelming part. The part that leaves me feeling like, somebody may be more equipped for the job. But with my options looking slim in the realms of traditional education…most days I’m left feeling like there is no right or easy choice. And yet, it’s still one that will have to be made.
My hope is to find balance in the next few months. In communities here in my city, in possible co-ops to share the learning (and unlearning), in personal growth and discovery. In the meantime, I’ll continue to share the cute photos of black boys with books and figuring out the hardest part of homeschool with you. ~xoxo
Most Sundays I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.