I was one of those mums who tried to do everything right, from the beginning. I read this book and that book before my first child was born. Do this and do that, try this and try that, they said. But most of the time, those things hardly worked; still, I tried. Once, my husband told me to burn the book as it was driving him crazy, when in fact it was driving me crazy as well. As both my boys grew, life seemed an endless search for right and wrong, good and bad.
When we decided to homeschool, this mindset was still the order of the day. I immersed myself in researching curriculum after curriculum and approach after approach. What would be the best? Would this work? Will they enjoy this? Maybe I should try something else… Many times, I felt so overwhelmed that I would go to bed with my head spinning. I was petrified that my choice would turn out to be detrimental to my children’s future, but other times I felt very bold in my choice.
Finally, after 5 years of trial-and-error, I can safely say, I still don’t have a clue whether my curriculum choices are right or wrong, good or bad, or whether it would be detrimental to my children’s future!!! But what I’ve realised is this: children always know who they are and what they like, until you try to change them.
Instead of trying to “teach” them too much, we as parents should learn to listen more often. We should give them time and space to be themselves and think their thoughts. We should turn away from the idea that life is about reaching that goal or fulfilling that ideal. I have realised that that credential they may receive at some point in time, is only one step in the scheme of things. It is only one part of their journey and not the be-all and end-all of their lives. They might not be able to put it into words, but children will always gravitate towards things that resonate with their hearts. And if we take the time to stop and listen and watch, we will catch a glimpse of it and become more attuned to who they are. This will make the decision of what to do much clearer.
Remember, children will always gravitate towards who they are meant to be. I pray that they will achieve this because of us, and not in spite of us.