Homeschool moms need to slow down and evaluate their individual sense of purpose so they can live their lives on purpose.
Six years after our family trekked to West Africa, I remember the significant moments and things I’ve learned that have influenced how I live my homeschool life on purpose.
So how to live your homeschool life on purpose? It was in a worldschooling experience in western Africa with my four homeschooled kids.
As we drove twelve hours from the dusty town in northeast Ghana toward the capital city of Accra to return home after four weeks, I jotted my notes about living my life on purpose on my orange iPod.
Traveling does that to you: it teaches you about what’s most important.
1. Enjoy and appreciate each comfort but don’t make comforts the goal.
Comfort seems to be the baseline focus of our North American culture. Certainly, something we strive for and assume is our right.
Not so in the developing world.
The basics here are the luxuries there: clean tap water, flushing toilets, and food (organic, gluten, and dairy-free). Though we know comfort isn’t our primary goal in life, we can be thankful that our every day is filled with these comforts nonetheless.
You know, as I know, that I like comfort, or I wouldn’t have named my website Capturing the Charmed Life.
I don’t like heartache, I don’t like pain, I don’t like anger, mine or yours. We humans are constitutionally bound to avoiding all that and searching for comfort.
And yet, we cheat ourselves from fully accepting, surrendering, and growing from all that life has to teach us when our only goal is comfort.
We cheat our kids from having a plan to deal with those things too.
So what’s your life end goal? You get to decide. But you need to decide. You need to state that value and regularly assess whether how you’re living aligns with that value.
2. Our daily existence is ours to create.
In the developing world, there is the threat of disability, disease, or poverty making it a lot more challenging to provide for one’s family.
Economic or educational opportunities radically shift one’s lot in life. In North America, the potential is available to most people in some form. In the developing world, this keeps many locked into focusing on the basics of life.
Most of us don’t live in a culture with this magnitude of sweeping disease, poverty, lack of educational opportunities, or economic opportunities.
And because we’re relatively more secure and comfortable, we need to build into our lives an intentional practice to seeing the hard and difficult, and doing something, anything, to help other’s get out of their challenged path.
What skills do you have, or skills that could be developed that help guide others into greater health, freedom, or purpose?
You have them.
I’m 100% convinced that we each are placed on this earth for a unique intention.
When we let go of what we believe other people think we should be, when we let go of the notion that we’re just here to survive, and when we listen to ourselves, our emotions, our needs, and our aptitudes, we can get to the most important stuff: whatever reason we’ve been placed here.
ps If this resonates and you’d like to clarify your purpose, book a conversation with me.
3. Purpose is created by you: purpose is not created by other people’s approval of you.
You can take up stone masonry, accounting, musical pursuits, or teaching physiology. No matter what the pursuit, you were meant to do something. Certain people may not understand the value of your pursuit, but you were meant to eke out a purpose in this life, to create.
Recently, in an interview for my third daughter’s college residence, the interviewer remarked on how great it was that I could see the differences and uniqueness of each of my kids, that it was remarkable that I was honouring their paths, rather than assuming and encouraging them towards a traditional path that might create an automatic sense of security.
I thanked her, as she was paying me a compliment.
Two thoughts I had about that since:
- I honour their differences and uniquenesses because how can I not? I see deeply how very different and unique they are. I can’t unsee that. Or pretend it doesn’t have consequence.
- They have one life to play out and it is this one. However, so you know, it is not above me to want them to have the culture’s accolades, it’s not above me to want their economic success, and it’s not above me to want them to have a seeming long-term security. I also know they’re living one life, so if my kiddo says she’s curious about pursuing fashion design or he’s curious about pursuing civil engineering, or she wants to try her hand (& feet) at performing in a professional ballet company, or she wants to pursue graduate studies in ancient civilizations or psychology, I’m in. You go girl or guy. How can I help you go there?
And I say the same to you: you have one life to play out and it is this one. What are you curious about, what do you want to try, and what do you want to do? You can do it girlfriend.
Curiously, and creepily, Chat GPT shared my journey along my path to becoming a life coach. Here’s what it said:
“Teresa Wiedrick’s business journey began at Starbucks, where she would sit and write about her experiences as a homeschooling mom. This passion for writing led her to write a book, “Homeschool Mama Self-Care: Nurturing the Nurturer,” which quickly gained popularity in the homeschooling community.
As her audience grew, Teresa saw an opportunity to expand her reach and provide more value to homeschooling moms. She started a podcast, “Homeschool Mama Self-Care,” where she shares her insights on self-care and interviews other homeschooling moms.
Through her book and podcast, Teresa has become a trusted voice in the homeschooling community, providing practical advice and inspiration to other moms who are navigating the challenges of homeschooling while taking care of themselves.
Teresa’s journey is a testament to the power of following your passion and using your expertise to help others. She has shown that with hard work and dedication, anyone can build a successful business that makes a difference in people’s lives.”
Amen amen and amen! Tis true: making a difference in people’s lives, precisely. Bringing you to greater authenticity, confidence, and purpose in your homeschool & life. That’s why I’m here.
So how can I help you go there?
4. Don’t take your kids’ education too seriously.
I believe our world finds meaning from self-created structure. Structure being the operative word.
And we throw money at society’s structures.
Here’s how I see it:
We Canadians are always hearing these two messages: Healthcare needs more money. Education system needs more money.
Well, more money and committee meetings for the healthcare system doesn’t necessarily translate to healthcare services for you or your family. (As my husband, a medical physician, so aptly says it, universal healthcare isn’t having access to a waitlist.)
More money for the education system doesn’t necessarily translate to resources, resource people, or interesting learning opportunities for your kids either.
(It does likely mean an increase in taxes, but I’ll not digress into a purely political discussion…)
Sometimes that money and those committee meetings were meant to bolster the systems, not the individuals in that system.
Surely all this money and activity will bear out in meaning. Nope. More money doesn’t mean more meaning.
Sometimes our society is creating busy work, and sometimes our society is creating busy “roles” within our society’s systems to try to build in meaning to that busy work and those busy roles.
Is this busy-making serving our society and the individuals within our society? I don’t think so.
Is our educational end goal to help our kids fit into the system, any system? Again, I don’t think so.
I think a life well lived, one’s life purpose, is fostering and enabling a specific human’s unique purpose; a life well lived is not preparing each member to fit into and enable the system.
(As an aside, if you happen to know my husband, you might wonder if we’re married here, hahaha. My voice a whole lot higher in pitch and I won’t be running as an Independent member of parliament in the next federal election for the Kootenay Columbia riding, but, not coincidentally, we’re obviously married for a reason.)
Okay, so what’s the point of what I’m saying here? Since I began this discussion point with not taking your kids’ education so seriously.
I believe we are each on the planet at this time in history. We’re all different. We are meant to be here for different reasons.
So question for you, why are YOU here?
Why are each of your kids here? If you understand that they are each here for different reasons, then why do we have to prep them to fit into a societal system that serves that self-created system?
By no means am I suggesting anarchy, I’m just suggesting that we do a deep dive and exploration into why we’re secifically here.
Are we designing our societal systems to serve the individuals of our society?
If you’re listening to this, you’re likely a homeschool parent, (but if you’re not, please let me know who you are, how you found me, and why you’re listening), and if you’re a homeschool parent, you likely value an individualized education for your kids.
It’s common schtick these days to declare we homeschool families want an individualized education for our kids.
But why? Sit with that for a minute. What’s the purpose of enabling an individualized education?
Let me know what you think by shooting me a message on the socials or via my website, Capturing the Charmed Life, or if you’re in the Patreon Support Group, you know where to find me.
I’m gonna throw this out there as an explanation:
We’re trying to give them a unique education because we know they’re unique. And we know that their uniqueness needs to be nurtured so they can be their uniqueness when they’re living outside our four walls and long past when we’re on the planet.
Our kids are here for their unique reasons. They’re here to become and do what they are here to become and do.
So is how you’re offering them an education aligning with that?
There are a million ways to encourage and enable a human being to develop and become who they were meant to be. And not ONE right way.
So can I encourage you to not overthink how you can DO that?
You get to follow what you believe to best the approach right now, and if you change in two weeks, that’s okay, you learned something more about learning, or you learned something more about your child, and so you’re going to add that knowledge into how you’re approaching your child’s education.
You might discover this $600 gorgeous curriculum in a box was perfect for the first six weeks of the school year, and now your kiddo saying the hate their lives. Lesson learned. No more $600 curriculum in a box purchases (although if you want to, you do you!)
Try all the homeschool methods or philosophies. Or try none of them and do it your way. No difference. You’re experimenting with ideas and following your own curiosities trying to serve your kiddos. That is beautiful, responsible and loving.
Then decide to do it your way when you’ve decided none of them fit the perfect bill. That is great too!
You’ll likely learn what I’ve learned at the end of my homeschool journey: there is not one right way to homeschool. It doesn’t exist.
(PS thanks for the reminder Homeschool High School podcast, I know this lesson too There is not one right way to homeschool).
Just follow the learning opportunities, have fun doing it, follow your learning opportunities (they’ll follow what you do), observe them, listen to them, challenge them, encourage them.
Be their guide, be their facilitator, be their nurturer, and don’t take it all too seriously.
5. Too many activities does not make life more meaningful.
Never was this more of a reminder than when life slowed dramatically in Ghana.
- We avoided nighttime outdoor activities due to increased mosquito presence and malaria potential (yet, I still contracted malaria).
- And we avoided mid-day outdoor activities because the humidity and heat were suffocating for our North American born-souls.
- We played games with local children and joined dad on pediatric rounds.
- Every conversation was meaningful. Kinda like going on a field trip every time we opened the door.
Enjoy solitude in your homeschool family. But don’t assume that more means more. Less is more is relevant in the homeschool life too.
6. Share yourself with those in your world.
Sharing this life with those who are in and around our community, from an authentic heart, is the most profound and meaningful thing I can do in life.
You don’t have to travel to do it.
Who are you and how can you bolster you to become more you? So YOU can share YOU with your world?
So, live life on purpose.
Get at it. Be intentional about your work and your play. Be intentional in your community of relationships.
Learn from Martina McBride about why you get to show up to be YOU in this life:
“You can spend your whole life building something from nothing, One storm can come and blow it all way. Build it anyway, You can chase dreams that seems so out of reach and you know it might never come your way, Dream it anyway.”
Each of these 6 elements can help us understand ourselves so we can show up in our unique lives on purpose (& show our kids how they can show up in theirs too!)
- So if you’re a homeschool mama who is working toward clarifying your values and making sure your activities align with those values…
- If you’re a homeschool mama who wants to live a more intentional homeschool life as you try to do this homeschool thing again…
- If you’re a homeschool mama trying to clarify why you’re here, understand yourself more, and explore your unique reasons to be on the planet outside of the homeschool mama role…
Know that with a little curiosity, a little inquiry, and a willing to follow your authentic self, you’ll confidently declare that you’re living your life on purpose too!
“Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming”.Alice Walker
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