family life / home educating and daily life / parenting

homeschool family harmony: the invisible education

On occasion, our family has been accused of being the Von Trap family. Not sure why, because we don’t all sing, nor do we own matching floral dresses, nor does the lieutenant play scrabble, blackjack and all kinds of games with his kids. I do wish I could strum a guitar, lead a few sing songs, and enjoy an afternoon playing on top of a mountain (ok, we live in the mountains, so occasionally we do that).

Homeschool family harmony and lack of common musical interests prevents that Von Trap perfection.

Homeschool family harmony is what I want most from the Von Trap family. It’s what I want most for our upcoming homeschooling year.

I’ll tell you why I know it won’t happen:

We’re human. We’re learning. Learning from each other. All six of us. The kids learn to engage or socialize by practicing ineffective and effective interpersonal skills. So do we adults. So Von Trap family harmony is definitely not realistic. (Oh, and they didn’t start with harmony in the movie either.)

I’ll tell you why it is happening increasingly though:

Because I’m often around as a watchful, engaged eye and I’m intent on growing and learning myself.

There’s an invisible education in our homeschools: family dynamics, how we all engage one another, what our internal focus is and not just what we say it is, but what it actually is and how each family member perceives that internal focus.

Julie Bogart’s encouraging words, in her Brave Learner book, is about the invisible education:

“Education is an atmosphere–it isn’t a house. It’s not a program. What our children learn at home is largely invisible to us–directly connected to their experience of well-being–the atmosphere of family life.

Homeschooling thrives when kids live a life they take for granted–they are so naturally secure, they don’t know how good they have it.

The overarching feeling I have is this: everyone that is supposed to be here is home. We are better together.

When we build our new families, we subconsciously react to our childhoods. We want to ensure an upgraded version of family. The catch? We partnered up with someone else also reacting to a childhood, and we gave birth to a slew of “no-me’s”–children with their own outlooks, personalities, dispositions, wants, needs, and aptitudes.

It’s as if we’re designed to notice what’s missing rather than being delighted by all the good happening in front of our eyes.

That happy vision of family life exerts daily pressure.

Homeschooling thrives when we shift from power over our kids to power with them–building empathetic relationships where the parent and child are partners in learning.”

Thank you for reminding me Julie!

Von Trap family we will never be. (My inability to sew clothes from curtains is certain evidence. Our inconsistent family harmony would be another.)

And I will aspire to growing and learning and expect that we’ll all continue growing and learning as a family this upcoming homeschool year.

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