This week we welcome a guest writer, Wendy Coller, for this segment while Kara is helping at the Alliance Redwoods Field Trip.
I’m Wendy, and if we haven’t met, I’m a Cottonwood staff member, and I’m also a Cottonwood parent of six kiddos, grades kinder through 8th. My husband and I have been homeschooling for six years, and it’s one of the best decisions we ever made for our family.
One thing I’m profoundly grateful that homeschooling has given us has been the ability to invest deeply in the relationships in our home. My kiddos are all really great friends with each other (most days), and I feel like this has to be in large part because of the daily investment we get to make in their relationships.
For example, I get to be there to help them navigate with kindness the inevitable sibling conflicts that come up. I get to help them seek to understand each other when an interaction is difficult. They get to know each other’s interests and be there to celebrate each others’ wins. They get to have shared experiences that create meaningful memories and points of connection in their relationships. This is what homeschooling has given us.
But just in case you’re thinking our house is different from yours, most days it’s far from pretty. In fact, some days this homeschooling journey feels like an endless, exhausting battle surrounded by dirty dishes and piles of dirty (or is it clean?) laundry.
The days we can’t make it through our history read aloud because someone is unable to not irritate their neighbor…or when one kiddo is waiting impatiently for math help delayed by another kiddo’s math meltdown…when it feels like I’m resolving the same argument between two kids for the 100th time this month…I wonder if it’s actually going to pay off. Friends with grown kids tell me how quickly this season is going to be over, but some days it’s hard to feel as if we will ever see our way out of this thick forest of the minutiae, and I need someone to remind me that the investment is worthwhile.
Author Victoria Erickson says, “Consistency is an under appreciated form of intentional magic disguised as a mundane doing.” Homeschool parent, I know you’re doing a lot of mundane today. In fact, you’ve been doing a lot of mundane all year long…and we’re just halfway through the year. If you’re like me and are needing a little reminder this week that the consistent investment is worthwhile, let me encourage you – those little moments all add up and create a lot of magic in the end.
So keep on journeying. I’ll be there right alongside you. You’ve got this!