Trusting the Process
It was just a couple of weeks ago when I confessed to friend that I doubted myself. I doubted this eclectic process of homeschooling/unschooling/unit studying/self-direted-learning thing we have going on that is (hopefully) aiding my children in the process of becoming fulfilled, healthy, life-long learners. As we watched our kids freely roam the beautiful little piece of nature that has become our usual Friday hangout, I told her of how I compared my son’s writing to one of his public school friends. His letters were too big. The words were too spread apart. I told her that he hated handwriting practice and how when I’d asked him to write a letter only using capital letters where they were “supposed to be,” we practically held WWIII at our kitchen table.
I was tired. I was stressed. I was disappointed. I was frustrated.
And then two nights later my kids starting writing a book.
I’m not even sure what sparked the idea, but before I could ask, they were scouring the house for blank paper. They chose their topics and gave their books titles. They didn't ask me how to spell a single word. Instead they flipped through pages of the “real” books in their room, to find and copy the words they needed. They did ask for help with a few things: How do we fixed the jammed stapler? Do you have anymore folders we can use as book covers? Can we take our book to the library for other people to read? How do you make a lot of copies of a book?
For a good week, instead of going to bed at night they worked on their books. On a recent trip out of town, the first thing they did when they walked into our hotel room was take out their journals and begin drawing and labeling the layout of the room. I’ve seen business flyers (that’s an entirely different subject!) and sweet notes to the family in Max’s handwriting left around the house. He’s also started writing down friendly grocery store reminders for me. (Thanks, buddy.)
The crazy thing about the entire journey of being a parent is that nobody has any idea how it will turn out. It is quite the lesson in delayed gratification. Will there be things that I look back on and wish I’d done differently? Probably. But what my children keep seeming to say to me is, “We’ve got this, Mom.” All the worry and self-doubt is for not because they’re going to learn what they need to learn-what they want to learn-when they need to learn it. Education is a process that starts the moment you’re born and ends the day you leave this earth. All I can do in the meantime is trust the process (and remember that it looks different for every learner, every parent, every family). When we stop looking for specific outcomes, I think the results of our choices will far surpass our greatest expectations.
What we are waiting for is not as important as what happens to us while we are waiting. Trust the process.
Check out this cool video we found on book production!