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For Now

“Whenever you feel like you’ve found the answer to your kids educational needs, add the words: for now.”

I just read this line in the Blake Bowles book, Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?, and every fiber of my being relaxed into a resounding YES!

For now. These are a powerful pair of words. I have used them a lot in our homeschool years. They come in handy when well-meaning folk ask if we are planning to homeschool our children through high school. “Well, it’s working for now,” I say, “and if something changes we will go back to the drawing table.” These words help diffuse the tension when I am put on the spot and feel compelled to explain my decisions to others. For now communicates the reality of this ever changing journey that we take on as homeschoolers. We have no way of knowing how our children’s needs will evolve. Keeping a respectful awareness of the “for now” wisdom can help us to stay present with our children’s needs.

Admitting we don’t, and can’t, have all the answers, is not so easy. As with all things parenting and homeschooling, it often comes back to self-work. How can we increase our ability to find acceptance with all the unexpected and find peace in the reality of for now? Exploring the realm of non-attachment is my work right now. “Life is change” is not a new idea, but it was easier to ignore before 2020 hit us all over the head with this truth. Welcoming rather than fighting against this inevitability, however jarring it may feel, is where I hope to get to. Reading Why Are You Still Sending Your Children to School feels like a step in that direction. My kids have hit that tween era, and I wonder if some of our most loved homeschool routines are still viable. It’s a bit like blank slate time, and I want to feel excited rather than frightened.

I’m only a couple chapters in, and the most helpful takeaway from the book so far has been the reminder of how there really is no right way to approach alternative education and the assurance that there are many options for taking a different path, if and when it feels necessary. I appreciate the stories of successful homeschooling parents whose children later decided to transfer into regular schools where they thrived. I appreciate the reminders of how much freedom we have. We don’t have to get mired in habit. I especially appreciate the author’s reminders to celebrate, rather than judge, the rich bounty of options that families who are interested in alternative education in the United States have available to us. This book makes me feel lucky.

Remembering and accepting that our homeschooling and family life will always be changing is a good thing that has helped me get through this past year. Our resilience has been buoyed by the awareness that all our adjustments in the pandemic are not necessarily permanent, just something we are pulling together to do for now. Connecting with friends over FaceTime rather than giggling and snuggling together during sleepovers has been hard but has not diminished our friendships. Increased screen time came sooner than I had expected for my kids, but that was always in the cards, and we are finding a lot of good in this change. Zoom classes are not really our style, but we have been having fun with them. Knowing it’s just for now, not forever, helps.


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