It's okay to share a proud homeschool mothers moment every once in awhile on one's blog isn't it?
Great, thought so!
I don't do this very often but I think we need to. I think we need to celebrate the milestones and achievements of our kids. Mostly we homeschoolers are generally chatting to the already converted but from time to time interest seekers may just stumble across our words and these positive stories of encouragement are exactly what they are seeking out.
Recently I shared a similar version of this in one of our local homeschooling facebook groups and I wanted to record it here so I can look back during times of reflection.
My 13 year old has been home educated all the way through. Well all the way except for preschool and six months of prep in a state school. He is a quiet, reserved, shy kind of kid and I know many would say that this is because we home school, although I know in my heart it is simply who he is. He's always been that way, and it's in his blood, a family trait so to speak.
About 4 years ago I arranged for a group of home schooled kids to undertake some drama classes at our local theatre. Having shy kids AND home educating them I didn't want them confined to a life of debilitating shyness. Whilst being shy certainly isn't a bad trait per se I have seen how shyness can affect people and hold them back from a living a full, joyful life.
There is so much wonder to be seen and experienced in this world, but we need to get out there and seek it out. It certainly isn't going to come looking for us, sitting at home in the safeness of our own little existence. We need to be brave, to try new things, meet new people and to put ourselves out there in what can often be terrifying situations. Being overly shy just makes all of those things a whole lot harder to deal with.
One way to help us feel more at ease with people in general, social interactions and generally feeling at ease around others is through the many and varied games that the children are exposed to during their weekly drama classes. Of course getting up on that stage helps too!
So he was happy to participate in the drama classes but with out a doubt he informed me that he 'would never ever speak on that stage'. In all honesty I really didn't mind and I had never actually given much thought to the 'on stage' component of the drama classes. I simply wanted him to experience being a part of the theatre group and all that that entails. Today, 4 years later he is still participating but now attends their regular after school drama classes, with children from all walks of life!
The funny thing is, he did end up speaking on that stage. The first year I think it was one line, one quietly spoken little line, but seeing the determination and courage that that one small line took brought tears to my eyes, heck, even just standing up on that stage was one huge act of courage!
And then little by little, slowly slowly, his confidence grew and so did his speaking parts.
Late last month we saw him perform in the musical production of Narnia - The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe, that the entire cast (including his little sister) had been working on for months. This was an optional musical and was all done outside of their regular weekly classes. Hours upon of hours of rehearsals. Learning lines and songs at home, again for hours, without a hint of input from me.
His role was that of Mr Beaver, which when he told me he had that part I was pleasantly surprised. I knew he would have several speaking lines in which to tackle, but because he undertook this task independently I had absolutely no idea just how many. Not only did he have a lead role, he needed to portray that role as a beaver with a cockney accent and sing, sing I tell you and in many parts this singing was completely solo, with a microphone strapped to his ear!
Oh Em Gee!!
Tears were literally streaming down my cheeks. Too watch him up there not one person could ever imagine that inside he is just a shy little boy doing what he enjoys because he has the time available to do so and the pressure free environment to enjoy what ever it is he chooses. No one has ever told him that being in a drama group is not cool. Even though there are limited males across all of the age groups. It really is predominantly a female based group. He has persevered and grown in leaps and bounds from the experience.
I have always lived by the mantra, of experiences, experiences, experiences. Give my kids as many wonderful and varied experiences as I am possibly able to and that is what we've done over the years. I have always encouraged my kids to try new things, yes even when they don't really want to. All I ask is that they try something and if they dislike it I will never bring it up again. Which by the way has very rarely happened.
I wholeheartedly believe that this has been what has gotten him to where he is now. He isn't afraid to try things (or I should say he still has a little healthy fear but he does it anyway) and this will take him a long way in his life. The older we grow it often seems the more afraid we become to take risks and to try out new things and so we allow our little dreams to die inside of us. We allow our fears to control us.
This is just one of the many positives that home education has given us. A place free of fears to try any new thing that looks cool and the freedom to say no, that really wasn't for me but hey I tried it and at least now I know!
So for all you mummas that are still in the very early stages of your homeschooling I really just wanted to say, have faith in what you are doing and in your beautiful children.
Get them out in the world, that's where the real education lies.
Books, the internet and documentaries are great, yes, but experiences, experiences, experiences is where the real learning happens.
Experiences is where life happens!!
Experiences are the real magic of our existence.
As a homeschooling family we are truly blessed to have ample time for all the experiences in the world.
Home School Really Is Cool!
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