I know that I have been spending a lot of time talking about my tools for self-care. You have been waiting patiently to get to the actual “Homeschooling” part.
The reason why I am spending so much time on this is that if you do not currently have a system on how to take care of yourself or even understand what your own tools are – how to care for your body, your heart, your mind, and your spirit – it will fall apart. And fast.
Chris and I are big on the long game. What is the long game? Well for example, sometimes I forget what “grade”my kids are supposed to be in because we don’t follow many standardized pieces of curriculum. They are learning different things at different rates based on what interests them mostly and what I consider skills that are needed to be practiced. What I am concerned with most is this question:
Who will they become at age 21? At 33? At 40?
What can they learn about themselves right now? How can I help them build character? How can I help them feel resilient in what may seem like a fragile world these days? Will they be comfortable in their own skin and when they are not, will they know how to be comfortable again with who they are?
We spend a lot of time talking. That is the major part of our learning together. We talk all the time and especially at dinner and after dinner. I am an early-to-bed person since we moved in the jungle. When you live without electricity for two years, your body adjusts to natural darkness of night. I try to slip away early but my older kids, especially my eldest who will be twenty-two in two days and who is here with us now, urge Chris and I to stay up a little longer to talk.
When I teach my classes, it’s a lot of us talking. Sometimes the kids just have questions and I try to answer them and sometimes I say, “I don’t know” and sometimes we try to imagine an answer together. I love that they wonder about the future of work and what they are paying attention to right now. I often have these questions myself and share them to prompt their own self-reflection.
Here is how we started class one day…some quotes on solitude and a discussion on the difference…
With the long game, I know what this is doing. Dialogue and introducing different perspectives give them food for thought. They can listen and I see their brains percolating or ruminating over an idea, especially an idea that they may find uncomfortable.
I asked my older teen class a question the other day, “What if this is it? This isn’t temporary and we talk over zoom. What if this is the new normal? How do we live? How do we find the gifts of this time apart? Or will this offend us to the bone and we will never grow accustom, our very social species wanting to be in physical close proximity of the people we care about?”
What kinds of prompts could you create to jumpstart dialogue in your house? Maybe gratitude? What is something you learned today? What did you find challenging today?
I have some ideas…more on that tomorrow.