I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the matter of limitations lately and how it relates to being a mother and a homeschooler.
I have come across this idea of seeing your limitations as strengths a few times now. Seth Godin talks about embracing your boundaries and then today I’ve been reading Malcolm Gladwell who says the same thing in a different way. And unless I’m mistaken, Rework says something similar about staying small.
There is real wisdom here.
How many times have you thought, “I can’t do that because I don’t have the resources,” or “Well, it’s great that you homeschool, and I would like to, but I can’t because I’m not _______ (fill in the blank with your specific limitation) enough.” And while that may be true, this way of thinking invites us, at least for a short while, to consider something other than the limitations, to think differently from others, to see what we possess instead of what we lack and see if it could somehow enhance what we are trying to achieve.
Then again, isn’t that the essence of motherhood? Or, for that matter, all parenting? Why should school be any different?
When we first started homeschooling, I wasn’t interested in replicating schools. I wasn’t trying to do school at home, but somewhere along the line, with the discussion of curricula, schedules, history and science, math and reading, that desire began to overtake me. Until I consciously shrugged it off. It’s not me. And it’s not my children. It’s not compatible with how my children learn best, so why was I doing it? Simple answer: because everyone else I spoke with was. It wasn’t until I took a step back to see the bigger picture, to plan and think that I thought about change.
Your children’s style of learning, the way they keep their room, even the way they hold their head and say, “huh?” when they don’t get something, the size of your home, the schedule you keep, the books you read, the clothes you wear, your personal perspective on life, on food, on education – it all matters.