Slice of Life: Day 13

Nostalgia

We have been homeschooling  our kids for 18 years and that’s a mighty long time.  Maybe it’s too long!  Maybe it’s not long enough because I still doubt myself sometimes.

I never had a burning desire to school my children at home.  Those people always seemed a little fringy to me and I definitely thrived more in the main stream.  I wanted to be a business executive, work in a high profile office park, and wear fashionable clothes that demonstrated my good taste.

All of those visions changed the day I met a homeschooling family dining at our local Chick-Fil-A restaurant.  I was in there having lunch with my three young children.  Back then, it was a financial stretch for us to eat at Chick-Fil-A and we did it rarely.  Somehow we were there and I had a baby on the hip and two more climbing on the indoor playground.  Around noon,  I noticed a family of four well-behaved, articulate school-aged children.  They were playing and interacting in such a delightful way.

Being an extrovert, I decided to talk to this mom.  Where did her kids go to school, I wanted to know.  School was just a year away, so that topic was continually on my mind.

I walked over and inquired boldly, “What delightful kids you have.  What brings you here today?  Did you have an appointment?”  I never considered that this family may not have their kids in any traditional school.

The mom responded with a welcoming smile, “We home school and today we took a little break down here to meet some friends.”

Now, that brief dialogue was all that was needed to plant a little mustard seed of possibility:  The possibility that people can do things differently and its okay.   I am sure that more words were exchanged with this nice mom, but these are all that I remember.  It was a providential moment in my life, a moment that has shaped so much of our days here.  I dare say that moment influenced our decision to have more children.  That moment changed the way I think about education and learning.  It changed the way we designed our current home.  And, it changed the way I viewed my own future. Somewhere in there, I began to embrace the idea of just being a woman, a wife and a mother.  In the course of all that, God gave me other little successes that I could not have imagined 20 years ago.

Don’t get me wrong!  It hasn’t been all roses.  It has been snails, beetles, skunks and praying mantis’s.  But, it’s been a journey worth taking.  At least my hubby thinks so, and I love that.

I bet many of us can pinpoint pivotal moments like this in our lives.  It is a healthy exercise to think back. In doing so, I realize that these crucial, paradigm-shifting moments often stem from a simple kindness given by another.  A smile, a simple response, or even just being present in the moment can affect those around us in a profoundly positive way.

Alright, enough of the melancholy nostalgia.  It’s time for lunch and time to mount our praying mantis nest outside before those little critters hatch in my kitchen!

5 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Day 13

  1. A great post! Your commitment to home schooling is evident in many of your posts. I can tell you love your kids and all your adventures. I enjoyed learning about how you took the first step into home schooling.

    Like

  2. Wow…that’s a long time! You have great commitment. As an administrator and former teacher, I have thought often about homeschooling, weighing its pros and cons. I, personally, don’t think I could do it, but kudos to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am fascinated by how administrators must perceive the homeschool movement. There are definitely pros and cons to homeschooling, just like everything else. I see how both approaches have influenced each other positively over the years and there is much that we can learn from each other. We aren’t purists, by any stretch of the imagination. We’ve had our kids in various schools, public, private, hybrid and they’ve survived, mostly pretty well. Yet their one complaint is that they weren’t in one system the entire time. That is truly important.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Angie, that is a great commitment and you have handled it superbly. My great nieces and nephews show the efforts and love you have given them. The Lord has blessed your efforts greatly.
    Love, Aunt Lee.

    Liked by 1 person

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