I know that is a wild thing to say, after all anyone can quickly conclude that 2020 has been the most shocking year in a long, long time.
If we rewind this year, in January I was doing what a lot of moms do… writing out my goals and envisioning this year and how it would unfold. I prayed for simplicity, that was my word. I wanted a SIMPLE year. I prayed for God to pull us closer to the opportunity to homeschool, to be closer together to opt out of the status quo. I wanted life to slow down.
And boy did He deliver.
In March, when the first alarm bell rang, I was thrilled to keep my family home. Never did I think the warnings would amount to much, I figured it was all for precaution. So I relished in the fact that I was able to bring my babies home and even my husband home from work. We stocked up on all the necessities as quickly as we could and hunkered down.
As the year began to pass, and decisions were made for the 2019-2020 school year, I was elated to have my girls at home. I finally had a chance to practice homeschooling with them. Praise the Lord she was a firstie so the expectations weren’t super high. I actually loved the freedom that came with uncertainty from the school district in the spring. We took it in strides and because I already worked a very flexible job from home, I was able to rearrange my schedule to accommodate her learning. I also had to add in teaching a preschooler because her preschool shut down completely.
While I certainly felt moments of panic and chaos and like I was out of control, I preferred this life where we were learning together, we were in it together.
As the summer came, we all were happy to let schooling go and take a break. Then came August and we opted for the Virtual Learning within our school district.
My daughter did not thrive in this environment, she was frustrated, unable to focus, mourned the loss of interpersonal connection… this became a frustrating time for our family.
We did the best we could, I bribed, pleaded, tried not to lose my cool while encouraging her to engage with her two meetings each day. It didn't take long to see expecting a 6 year old to focus for a hour and then another hour after that on a computer is an unrealistic expectation. During that two hour window, all my daughter would do was look over at what her 4 year old sister and I were doing and want to be included in that.
Again, I prayed for God to help create the path of homeschooling for me and my daughters.
Then after one particular zoom class call, I was told our attendance was not counted on the videos and that all we needed for attendance was turning in our assignments. Since these classes were not going well and more tears were happening instead of smiles. We opted out.
We chose to utilize the school district’s curriculum as an end goal, but we would decide on how to get there. And this opened our days up to a beautiful learning opportunity.
Once we have looked up what we need to learn and understand, we go outside and we do just that. From observing soil to dissecting a flower and looking at its parts to writing letters to friends, reading aloud on the hammock, drawing math problems with our chalk in the driveway, learning how to bake sourdough bread or even taking a field trip to learn about bees.
The learning is outside of four walls, it is in the world around us.
I am so grateful 2020 gave me this opportunity to learn more about my daughters, to see how they tick, to observe their learning styles and watch our family grow stronger in a world where we rely on each other.
2020 has been many things to many people. One thing for sure is it has made everyone stop and adjust. This adaptation, this evolvement can be and has been remarkable.
Going from a mom who never thought she’d be able to stay at home with her kids, let alone homeschooling them, this has been an answer to my prayers. We may not be there 100% but we are about 90% there and to this mama’s heart it = freedom. To our family it means living our life the way we want to which opens up the door to so much opportunity, like our next journey into 2021 with creating a suburban homestead... gardening + chickens. 😍 [More to come soon!]
Wherever you are in your motherhood, wherever your kiddos are in their learning, wherever you are in 2020… know that God has the best plan. Sometimes we just don’t know how we will get there.