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As I write this first post, looking at my first post title, I feel slightly disingenuous. The road we will be starting out on soon (and which was the impetus for starting this blog) is not completely un-travelled. In fact, in making the decisions we have recently, we have received much advice and counsel from others who have already been travelling the homeschooling road for a while.

However Robert Frost’s poem resonates with me more and more deeply as time goes by, as we as a family are drawn more often down these less-travelled paths. Choices we were drawn to even before the inception of our family (like choosing abstinence before marriage and choosing to move across the world from South Africa to the UK 1 month after our wedding) should maybe have given us a hint that ours was possibly not going to be the most conventional of paths, but I see myself as a pretty conventional person, and so every calling we have to swim against the tide, every choice that goes against conventional wisdom is really hard on me at first.

And callings and choices there have been: we chose homebirths for 3 of our children; I chose to “waste” a veterinary science degree and stay home full-time as a Mom, we chose to return to South Africa at a time when many, many families were choosing to leave; DrT chose to give up a very promising small-animal practice and career in order to become a student again; he chose to work at a zoo rather than in the bush as many conservationists do… (These are only some of the bigger “up-stream” decisions we have made. The more I think about it the more I realise how unconventional we must appear to those around us)…and now we’re choosing to homeschool our children!

 What an agonising time this decision-making process has been for me. I have felt at times as though we are being called to swim up a waterfall, not just up-stream, and that I was just not going to find the courage to say “yes”. But the courage has come, and the decision has been made, and now this Mom is eagerly looking forward to sun-filled free-range schooldays surrounded by her brood.

In retrospect, why have I been so fearful? As I look back at that list of decisions I just wrote I can’t say I regret one of them. They have each brought beauty, happiness and adventure to our lives, and I can see no reason why this decision will be any different.

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