One of the primary reasons that we chose homeschooling for our family is because we wanted to prioritize exploration and enrichment. We wanted to have more time to do stuff. To be clear, we are not curriculum oriented homeschoolers. We are real world experience based homeschoolers. That means that right now we are helping our kids identify their interests and supporting them in pursuing their potential passions. It is pretty much embodied bliss for me to witness their relationships to their unique interests and to themselves, unfold and deepen.
What this also means, however, is that I am much busier than is my preference. Left to my own devices, I am disinclined to ever leave my house. I have been known to put off any and all errands for as long it can possibly wait just so I can get home sooner, or leave later, or preferably not go at all.
But I do leave my house. A lot. And not just for the kids activities and adventures. I also work a fair share out of the house. Much more than I did when we began homeschooling. Teaching yoga is certainly no get rich quick (or at all) career path, but my teaching income is an important part of what we generate as a household and I also happen to find it to be joyful and inspiring work. I love it when people benefit, even in some very small way, by something that I might have offered them. And while it is so awesome that people will make the trip from the city out to work with me in my tiny home studio space, I am still leaving my house 4-6 times each week to drive to a city that is at best 22 minutes away, and at worst 55.
I keep saying yes though. For now at any rate. I have boundaries. Limits. There are simply things that are too far out of my range. At least for any weekly commitment. And this year I have put a moratorium on any new activities for the kids in favor of exploring what they are already doing with greater depth and focus. I also reassess regularly. Is this too much? Am I ok? Do I have perspective? Am I showing up as best I can in the areas that matter the most? Am I maintaining my connection to heart and to ease? And I ask for help. A lot.
Even though I have said no to new activities this year, I have said a big giant yes to more depth within what they are already doing. Maple is going to be on a year round swim team that practices 3-4x a week at an indoor pool that is not near my house (oh please oh please oh please my fingers are crossed that car pooling is in the stars for us!). And both kids are participating more with Wild Harvest Nature Connection this year- on 2 distinct days, so my convenience level is down but their autonomy and enrichment is up. And then of course, there is also violin, voice, soccer, craft classes, horses and a few other seasonal gems....
Even as I write this, Maple and Chris, our 2 household extroverts, have been at work and at a friend's, and Eider and I -the 2 intros- have gladly holed up at home, making a pact to not go anywhere until I have to leave for work this morning. We like it that way. But not everyone does. So everyday, we look for the balance, the give and take, the compromise.
(As an additional side note, some of these thoughts were inspired by my long time sister on the path of parenting, Rachel Wolf', and her thoughts on activities for her homeschooled household. We are very similar and yet very distinct, her and I, and it just goes to show that there is really and absolutely no way to do this parenting gig "The Right Way". We aim to do our best. And stay awake along the way.)