Although my blog doesn’t reflect it, I have been diligently writing. I have almost completed the revision, additions and changes to my first book – well, book may be a stretch…how about a collection of thoughts?
The book is in the final stages. I am excited to see this process through to the end. This book is specifically for families hearing the whisper or feeling the nudge for a possible change. This is a book for parents who are not only questioning if the current education of their children is really meeting their personal needs, but if their lifestyle is allowing them the type of connection and joy they desire, too. This is a book for all those considering homeschooling.
I will be learning how to format and transition the material for publishing soon! This is the first time I have done anything like this. It is a cool process to learn and fun to witness the book take on a voice and shape.
Quinn and I spent many hours reminiscing and discussing the time leading up to our decision to pull the trigger and bring the girls home from public school.
Quinn recalled the very day I withdrew the girls from public school. He described a feeling of dread all morning – like for real, dread ya’ll. He said he even called to tell me to wait so we could talk a little more about it (we had been talking about it for TWO years!) but I had already done it.
We are happy we made the choice, but it was not (and is not) without worry, anxiety and stress if we were making a huge mistake. Some comfort I have found is that every parent, regardless of the choices we make, worries a little! Right?
Five years later, our only regret? That we didn’t do it earlier…
My hope is this book will serve as some inspiration, encouragement and food for thought for a family contemplating a big change. This is for all of you out there who question the status quo and entertain different and new ways of being. This is not a “How-To Homeschool” book, but more of a guide to support you in determining if home schooling may be the right fit for you and your family.
This is the book I wish had been available to Quinn and I all those years we contemplated back and forth on whether or not homeschooling was right for us. It is my intention to support you and your family in making choices, whatever they are, that serves you best.
Here is a sneak peek at the first chapter…
Rock on, Vickie
~ Chapter One ~
“Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
– Joubert Botha
If you are reading this, I am guessing you may be desiring change, something different. That is my hunch. You hear that whisper late at night “is this it?” I know. I was there.
Perhaps it isn’t homeschooling, but just a big change, a shake-up in life? Many a night, I laid in bed going back and forth on withdrawing our girls from public school and bringing them home. I thought I was only contemplating a different way of educating our children, but what I have learned, is it was a different way of life.
I remember in my late 20’s my husband and I went skydiving. Before our jump, we watched a brief safety video. After our “training,” I was strapped to the front of a retired Navy Seal and taken 3 miles into the sky in a little propeller plane.
When we reached the altitude to jump, they opened the hatch-door to the plane – they opened the door – take that in for a second…they opened the plane door three miles above earth.
It was cold, loud, windy and our green and blue marble looked so far away. The instructor looked at me and yelled, “You’re first!” All these years later, I am not lying, my hands still sweat as I recall this experience.
We waddled to the door to get in position. I was in the open doorway. My toes were dangling over the transition of the plane. Crouched at the doorway I could see the outside of the plane – I was looking at the wing of the plane, I could touch it. I was standing between the plane (safe) to free-falling (not-safe, but exhilarating.)
I looked back at my husband and I was T.E.R.R.I.F.I.E.D. terrified. If I had been last in the line of jumpers, I may have chickened out, but everyone was sardined tightly and waiting to jump.
My partner yelled in my ear, “just rock back on me and then we will roll forward…” I have never felt more scared in my life.
I trusted and let go…
I shut my eyes for the first 10-12 seconds of our jump…it was too much. It was loud, the wind was strong, and I was falling. I was freefalling to earth. I was not in the plane, I was not on earth. I was freefalling – untethered. After two miles of free-falling, my instructor touched the top of my head. This was the signal that we were going to open our parachute.
The second we pulled the cord to open the shoot, everything changed. It became silent, slow, peaceful, beautiful. This transition from freefalling to opening the parachute is like a hurricane changing over from the tumultuous outer bands to the silence and peace of the storm’s eye.
We swirled, like a leaf falling from a tree and I got to see the big picture – Earth never looked more beautiful. It was an incredible moment where I saw life different. I guess you could say, my world-view changed from a change in perspective.
If you have ever sky-dived before, you know as you approach your landing you experience something called ‘ground-rush.’ It can be frightening.
After soaring and coasting down to earth, the ground appears to suddenly rush up and if you’re not careful can freak you out! We skidded to our landing and my legs were so weak, I could not stand for a moment. But, I did. Changed, forever.
Big changes do that!
Big changes or experiences sometimes require overcoming fear, a leap of faith, disorientation and a re-entry to life. They can leave you with a new life-view, a broadened world-view. I believe these are the moments where you are ‘living’ and can be the booster shot needed to enjoy other areas of your life, too.
You make a change and it allows you to grow deeper in your understanding of yourself and builds the muscle of courage to do life. You grow as a human.
I don’t know if this analogy will help settle your mind, but honestly, if you have a desire to be with your family ( a lot), learn together and have the courage to try something different, this jump may be for you. Regardless of how much your read, study or prepare, it truly requires a leap of faith.
If you have a desire to be with your family, learn together and have the courage to try something different, this jump may be for you.
I spent many of our first years homeschooling anxious and looking for ‘proof’ that we weren’t going to mess our kids up forever. I felt lost at sea for about two years. Disoriented, I found myself repeatedly saying “I feel like I have lost my footing.”
Everything was new, foreign and counter-culture. Quinn and I were both public-schooled and up until this point, so were our girls – we knew what that looked like. But, for homeschooling, there was and is no one size fits all blueprint. I found myself trying to explain and put a form to something I didn’t quite get myself, yet.
In hindsight, I had lost my footing. I was standing in the transition between viewing school as ‘other’ and something done separate from home life and school coming home and becoming a lifestyle.
For about two years, I remember when our family was seriously considering home-schooling, I scoured the internet for books, blogs, testimony about how families came to the decision to homeschool. My kids were in public school and doing well. I needed to hear people’s thought processes as to why and how they brought their kids home and honestly, if it ‘worked.’
Quickly, I discovered there wasn’t much out there for us. At least families like mine whom were not considering home-schooling for faith-based, behavioral, cognitive or children that just didn’t fit the public-school mold reasons. I discovered there were and are a lot of resources available for those groups. While homeschool families owe much debt to these pioneers of home education, this was not our story or our why.
As the number of homeschoolers are swelling at record rates, there is a new groups or type of homeschooler emerging and those were the people we were looking for to help us navigate this uncharted territory. Families that were restless for not only a different way of educating their children, but living their lives.
I was looking for families that were happy with their lives, but still wanted more.
I found my inspiration in a book called Becoming BareNaked by Jenn Barenaked. Now, before your mind goes to the gutter, as the title does make one go, “Hmmm…” stay with me…This book was about a family that was tired of the status quo. A family of five that had worked and achieved The American Dream.
This family was good, but discontent. They were looking for more…more time together to learn, to travel, to grow, TOgether as a family. This family left a six-figure income, sold two homes and set out into the unknown with three young children.
They homeschooled. I liked that. But, homeschooling was one small piece of the pie they were creating. Homeschooling was almost a byproduct of the style of life they desired for their family. Education happened, for the most part, in the world. This family stepped out of mainstream America and had the courage to do something different, on their terms, together…together my friends.
Life is too short to settle.
The book, Becoming BareNaked is a raw, collection of Jenn’s handwritten notes and is a glimpse into the inner thinking and thought process this mother was going through before they made the decision to sell it all and blaze a new path. It was the book I needed. It wasn’t a homeschooling book per se, but a book about having courage to go for life! To be brave and make decisions that are true to you, even if they are counter-culture.
The name Becoming BareNaked is a metaphor for how they are living their life…in the wide open for all to see, no lies or covers. Just their truth.
Becoming BareNaked was our impetus to jump. I provide a list of books at the end of this guide containing some of the resources and books I found helpful on our homeschool journey. I hope they may help you, too.
The next chapter, Our Story, will hopefully give you a better understanding of how we became a family of unexpected homeschoolers.
A LIFESTYLE OF LEARNING:
Insights for a family considering homeschooling from a family that said, “YES!”