I’ve got a homeschool friend who has spoken more into my life than any other. She’s parented five. They’re all grown up now.
She’s been through years and years of curriculum planning, and even unschooling, learning to do it right and letting go of that notion: that you can ‘do it right’. She’s told me to relax. She’s told me to pay a little more attention.
She’s the coach from the sidelines repeating her mantra, “Live graciously, love honestly, write bravely.”
Direct from her book, “A Gracious Space,” I share Julie’s words with you…
“Don’t overthink. You want to do a good job of parenting?
Think less about how to shape your kids into world changers and more about how to bring a wide world to your family to shape them.
Think less about turning your kids into responsible mini-adults and more about how to ensure they have a childhood.
Think more about how much energy children invest in what they love and less about what they fail to do.
Think more about each child’s natural aptitudes and less about each child’s deficiencies.
Think less about the future and more about today–this moment.
Think less about expert advice and more about your hunches.
Think more of your children than the Famous People who write about them.
Think less about disciplinary tactics and more about ‘live and let live.”
Think less of yourself (your power to impact who your children become) and more about the innate power of genetics, culture, language, and nationality.
Allow yourself to be in awe; disallow anxiety.
Think more about what you can control (your own character and maturity) and less about what you can’t (your children’s).
Think more of your child’s responsibility to grow up to be who he or she is, and less of your ability to make some imagined outcome happen.
Think only of your responsibility to provide possibilities and opportunities, and less of your obligation to guarantee outcomes (to anyone–the province, your spouse, your extended family, yourself).
Let yourself off the hook–you are limited. Celebrate your limits.
Let your kids off the hook–they are limited. Enjoy their limits.
Think about all the signs of maturity, character, intelligence, and heart you do see, think less about the recklessness, slip shod work ethic, bickering and lack of academic progress that reminds you they are still minors.
Think more of yourself than you usually do. You are enough, you have the right kids, you know what it means to love and educate them. You do it every day.
Think less of the revered friends and experts. They are not you. They do what they do. They don’t have your kids. They can’t parent for you. They shouldn’t live in your head.
Think more about developing thinkers (people who engage ideas) and less about getting your kids through an education (people who pass classes).
Think more of home education when you are at home, defending it to yourself, and defend it less to other people.
You do know what you’re doing. The tweaks and changes you make are validations of your vision, not invalidations of past choices. You are growing alongside your children, becoming an educator as you go.
Think more of your journey as a homeschooler, and less about what your kids are learning.
If you value your growth, you’ll learn to value your kids’ growth.
If you love what you are learning about education and learning, your kids will find some version of that lifestyle for themselves. It’s contagious.
If you are undistracted by the flaws in your system, personality, finances and home life and think more about how to become intimate with a subject area that fascinates you, your entire life (including homeschool and children) will flourish.
Don’t overthink this one. Stay the course, learn, grown, share, trust.
You are less important in the total scheme of things than you realize, and you are far more valuable in the moment-to-moment day by day than you appreciate.
Both are true.
Don’t overthink it.” –Julie Bogart
Who wouldn’t want a homeschooling girlfriend to speak those things into your life?
Someday, I hope to meet her. Tea kettle’s always ready Julie!