Today we are joined by the amazing Jill Houle of Homegrown Life. Jill shares a beautiful post on the need, as parents, to honor the natural pauses that each of our children require in their daily lives, and to listen closely to the individual needs of our children in the present moment. We hope that you enjoy, and Happy Monday to you all.
One of the benefits of a home education is the opportunity for breaks in between lessons. Today it felt as if we paused in between each one and that it was much appreciated by each child in their own way.
Seeing my children have these pauses during their school time each day makes me realize just how much they need them. Their desire to play, build, draw, knit, jump, ride bikes, go for a walk, build a fort, write (or e-mail!) a friend and simply be a child is so very strong and it is with great joy that I am able to afford them with this ‘luxury’.
I have to remind myself that this homeschooling journey that we’ve started on cannot be rushed. It takes time to learn and to love learning. One of my favorite quotes about education by William Butler Yeats reads:
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
It takes time to light a fire. It too cannot be rushed and must be met with just the right amount of resources, time and patience. If we want a fire to burn long and with strength than we must tend to it very carefully, stocking it when needed, being careful not to simply ‘throw just anything’ into it’s flames but instead to choose what will enable it to serve it’s purpose.
Sometimes I fall back into my old habits of wanting to be a ‘list checker’. There is something so very satisfying to me to put that ‘check’ next to the assigned task and just be done with it. I have had to remind myself that we are homeschooling so that we don’t have to check everything off of a list and that we are doing this so that each child can learn what he needs, when he needs and how he needs.
Following the lead of a very dear friend, I have begun praying for each child and asking what they need most right now in life- from their parents, their siblings, their environment- that will help to fulfill their deepest and most significant needs. I pray that I am able to stifle my own intentions and motivations and perceptions long enough to hear what is truly needed.
Jill Houle lives in Connecticut with her husband and four homeschooled children. She strives to find simplicity and beauty in the mundane, dreams of a homestead life, a spare moment to create and write and seeks to live out her life’s vision with intention and grace each day. You can read more about Jill on her blog, Homegrown Life