2022 kicked off with a bang! I started out the school year continuing on with my home education journey with my 11 year old, Meg. The decision to bring Meg out of school in Term 4 last year, was motivated by a number of reasons, and of course it didn't come without the opportunity for another life lesson. There was judgement. Judgement from others who believe wholeheartedly in the school system. One thing that is certain is that when we are courageous enough to live life in a way that doesn't "fit the societal mold", there is much judgement from others. (Sidenote - maybe this would be better as a blog article rather than a newsletter)... I always find this intriguing - that when we start making decisions that we feel are right for us, by default, it can make other people in our life very uncomfortable. Human behaviour is fascinating. Digging deeper of course, we understand this is because when we start to live bravely and set personal boundaries and serve ourselves and the one we love, it can trigger something deep in someone else - where they feel a deficit. I have passionately pursued living life on my own terms for most of my adult life, so judgment from others these days is "oh, that old chestnut". It's everywhere, and it's another reason I stipulate strongly that the learning space here is one that is emotionally safe and without judgement. Anyway. Back to the story.
I was working hard at setting up learning experiences for Meg at home. We were travelling to activities and events more than ever, I was flexible with her book work so that she could do interest-led learning, she had the option of horse riding daily etc. It was a pretty cool situation. I was really happy knowing that I had made a decision that aligned with my values and was creating a learning experience for my daughter that would have her expand in profound ways.
Instead, what I saw happen.. is instead of Meg growing, thriving and expanding... she started contracting. Her interest and inspiration lessened. She lost a lot of motivation to learn. Her desire to connect with others lessened...
Meg decided herself that she would like to return to school. This was a bit of a blow for me. It made me question myself briefly - how did I not make this work? This is what I do - life skills and fun learning experiences - how did it not keep my own daughter engaged?! But connecting with my philosophical view on "all things life" - I didn't sit and dwell or question things for more than minutes. All that it came down to was the understanding that ALL that matters, is whether Meg was expanding, or contracting. And the knowing that if she returned to the school system, I can still guide her with the knowledge I had planned to teach her at home. We could still put a focus on life skills at home. We could still achieve everything we wanted to.. at home.
A few minutes after Meg declared that she wanted to go back to school and after a quick process of my thoughts, I said "let's do it! Let's take you back to school!...
I can't express the amount of weight that lifted from my shoulders in that moment. It's real. Suddenly, the awareness that with now both girls in school this year meant I could start to refocus on my work and other interests.. bought on an emotion that I have been waiting a long time to feel! Haha. And guess what. There was still judgement. Judgment from a couple of passionate home educators. But that too, was ok.
I was reminded of some powerful life principles through that whole process.
There is always going to be judgement when it comes to making decisions for ourselves and the way we live our lives. But that judgement is not a reflection of our choices - it's actually a reflection of where people are at in themselves. If others are triggered by our decisions and actions, that is a reflection of what is going on deeply inside of themselves - mostly stemming from fear or regret.
A huge and powerful take home from this for me was: "It's ok if we change our mind". As a woman, I get to choose. As a mother, I get to choose. And if I decided in another 2 years that it was timely to try home education again... I would make that choice. And I would do it unapologetically.
Meg at home doing a science experiment with Coke.