Nothing like questions for stimulating thought. My inbox is pretty full after our first Mason Jar podcast. I am always stunned by the burdens homeschool moms carry. I am pretty sure we are not meant to carry such burdens. In a culture that does not honor the past we have to start all over each generation learning the skills of life.
We talk a lot at CiRCE about not teaching out of fear and truly much damage is done when we do. Many of the burdens moms carry really are just fears. I do not have all the answers to combat this pervasive pest but I do have a couple of hints.
When in comes to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty: Relax.
Those are big categories and as I said in Rockford, IL at CiRCE’s 2014 Midwest Regional Conference, when we add the burden of teaching virtue to the curriculum it is a recipe for disaster. Your job as a teacher/mom is to introduce true and good and beautiful things to your students. You cannot make them love them. Don’t expect to see fruit in these areas for a very long time.
Sure, I know, you hear all these stories about amazing kids who love every minute of art and drama. They “get” beauty. I know a young woman who grew up in an overtly Charlotte Mason homeschool who went on to become a classical sculptor. Her work is breathtakingly beautiful and I hope to talk to her on the podcast one day, and yet, few of my children even liked Shakespeare. That doesn’t mean they weren’t informed by familiarity with the bard.
Truth, goodness, and beauty are apple trees not mustard plants. You have to wait. So relax a little. Enjoy. There is no point in stressing over truth, goodness, and beauty. It just doesn’t work like that. The stress will kill them.
And that brings me to my other point. Moms get so wrapped up in being mom and teacher that they lose sight of who they are as persons. I know I did. Here is my new mantra Charlotte Mason-style: Moms are born persons. I will be speaking about this topic in one of my conference talks this year in Charleston but the more I read emails the more strongly I feel about it. You must develop yourself as a person, Mom.
I balked when I was challenged in this area. I loved being a mom and a teacher. Why did I need to be a person too? Because it is too much of a burden on the family if mom is only a mom. Trust me. Older moms jump in here and comment on how you learned this lesson. Learn to do something without your children. Pursue something you love. I bet what you love is true, good, and beautiful. You will still be teaching your children. You will be teaching them how to be persons; persons who love truth, goodness, and beauty.