You'll pardon, I hope, the crickets chirping around here this month. It's just that big changes have meant big opportunities and we are soaking them up like a sponge in water.
First, our weeks are suddenly wide open. For the past three years, we have had the privilege of caring for another child during the week. It was a unique season for us - good and busy and exhausting and so much more. But this season has, as they do, come to an end, and now we find ourselves settling into a new routine.
Second, we've made some educational changes that have allowed us to embrace our unschooling nature in a way we couldn't fully do so last year. We had chosen to enroll the boy in a home learners' distributed learning program for kindergarten. The program was fine and we made it through the year without any difficulty, but it was an unnecessary frustration to try to document all of the beautiful learning experiences that arose so naturally throughout our days. This year, we have chosen instead to register as fully independent homeschoolers. This better fits our educational philosophies and desires, giving us a renewed and lovely sense of freedom and joy in our learning.
Third, it's summer! Opportunities are always in abundance during this time of the year.
All of this combined means we've been on a bit of freedom high. We do what we want, when we want, for as long as we want, wherever we want! We aren't limited by childcare responsibilities or school demands or even weather.
We. Are. Free.
But. (There's always a but.)
With all this time and fun and opportunity, I'm finding myself on the verge of overwhelm. I want to READ ALL THE BOOKS! and VISIT ALL THE PLACES! and DO ALL THE THINGS! right now, today, hurry hurry hurry!
But I can't.
We can't do everything today.
We can't do everything this year.
And therein lies both the joy and challenge of this homeschooling life we have chosen. The opportunities in front of us each day are so extensive, so deliciously tempting, that I can start to feel a bit panicky. If we do this then we can't do that, and the other thing will have to wait too. If we take on this activity then we give up that opportunity. If we spend our time this way then we can't spend it another way. How do we choose from such an opportunity buffet?
Coming down off this month-long freedom high, I find myself in need of the reminder to simply breathe and embrace the moment at hand. Read this book, the rest will wait. Go to this park, don't worry about the other ones. Sing this song, others will follow. One thing at a time.
As for how to choose? Choose peace. If it invites stress into our lives, it's likely the wrong choice for our family. And when all the options are so good, we really can't go wrong, now can we?
As we move on with our summer, this is the lesson I take with me: Embrace that joyous freedom...but don't try to embrace it all once.
One thing at a time.