Monday, May 22, 2017

Peony in pink, thoughts on a year

A year ago (ish), I had withdrawn her from all classes but the ones that ran during my teaching time. A year ago (ish), I had seen her sleeping later, melancholic, dreading the co-op. A year ago (ish), she was paralyzed to write a sentence or answer a question.

There's good advice in the homeschool community--if a curriculum isn't working, don't stay committed to it if it will make you and your kids miserable. Find something else. And while there is something to be said for pushing through difficulties (subjects, curricula, circumstances), about persevering, what is the cost? For Erin, I was watching her confidence plummet, her love for learning grow cold, and depression take over her heart. We had to find something else. So this year, we stayed home, all of us.

We threw out the IEW method and turned to Bravewriter. We had read-alouds on the couch, on the patio, wherever--and poetry teas with treats and fanfare and, of course, poetry. I watched this sweet flower of a girl, her heart closed so tightly, begin to loosen up over the course of the school year.


Today, she is parked next to me on a computer. I am writing. She is writing. She asks me, "How do you spell ... ?" And she has a paper next to her full of answers to her questions. She jots them down.

"Mom, when was the camera invented?"
"What did it look like?"
"What language do they speak in Iceland?"
"Do people still use the name Jeremiah?"

She's writing stories and we are researching places and things, all born from imagination and passion. She talks run-on of plot lines and anecdotes. All day long. Her laughter is like bird song.

that smile, that heart

A year ago (ish), I felt really unsure of our decision to leave co-op. It was what we knew, and oh, how I wanted it to work. But it wasn't working.

A year ago (ish), we sat on the couch at home, reading, and she told me, "I want school to be like this next year. Just like today."

"It will be," I told her. And it is, and so much more.

We are still wrapping up last subjects, crossing the finish line a bit later than anticipated--in a season that was anything but predictable! But the victory isn't in the closing of a book--it's in the opening of a heart.

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