While in Tennessee I also reflected if I wanted to keep blogging. Usually I blog on the road. I love writing down my feelings real time, as opposed to sorting through pictures of what we did and trying to recapture the excitement days later. This trip however, I had no desire. I could have left my computer at home and saved myself the little bit of cargo space.
I have considered removing comments like other bloggers have done which may allow me to write more for me, and help push the editing part of my brain to the side. I have posts about gun control, my recent NRA class, and my commentary about some local news issues in my feed still labeled draft because I feel that if I publish them suddenly I am thrusting myself out into the area of public discourse and it is much safer to remain a homeschool/family blogger. But there is a whole side of my writing and my life experience that is left unsaid.
So I still struggle with what to write and the perception I have that the quality of my writing on this space has diminished over the years. I would like to get back to the place I was at when I first started blogging, when emotions were raw and my accounts were uncensored because I did not give a care who was reading my blog. I looked into journaling apps that would allow me to write on the laptop and still have the option of publishing my journal into a private book for my family. I found many but none that I liked as much as blogger. I considered just going back to a word processing format and a binder but I do love how my blog books look. Basically I had not come to a conclusion about the future of this blog.
Over the weekend I opened up my blog gmail account and found the most beautiful email from a complete stranger who has recently made the decision to homeschool her two children. She shared with me the fears and questions she has about withdrawing her children from public school and I was immediately taken back to that time in my life just a little over three years ago. I have always maintained that families who withdraw their children from school (especially when they have been in school several years) have a dramatically different homeschooling experience than those families who have never sent their children to school. There are more steps to overcome, more fears to face, more adjustments to allow for. We all seem to have many of the same similarities in the stages we journey through.
This email helped to put my blog in perspective. This blog is not an account of my entire life. I don’t want to share my entire life on the Internet. I do want to share how this experience of homeschooling our children has transformed our lives in ways we never could have imagined. There are families suffering through the same things we were with public education. Our choice no longer seems radical, or strange or scary or even different. There are as many children homeschooling now as there are enrolled in charter schools. I keep forgetting that we are not the norm, we are still viewed as a fringe educational group. I’ll take being on the fringe, in a sub set of the American demographic to live this lifestyle.
Right now it is 8:15. Lilah went to bed with a painful sore throat. I do not have to wonder if she will stay home sick today. I don’t have to wake her up to find out. I don’t have to rush to catch a bus, or worry about a tardy slip. I don’t have to worry about her going to the school nurse and being sent back to her classroom because she does not have a fever. I don’t have to worry about her wanting to be home where her mom can make her warm soup and hold her when she feels bad. I don’t have to worry about make up work and missed tests.
Teachable Moments was conceived as a blog to share educational information with a public school audience. I kept the name because it so fitted our transformation to a homeschooling family. I keep the name because throughout my life there are little teachable moments that help me realize the path I am on it meant for me alone. It may be similar to someone else’s but it can’t be exactly the same. The same is said for this blog. Love it or hate it, it is mine and I can share exactly what I want, when I want and while I hope it meets a receptive audience, it is not my guiding factor when I write. Not every post I write will be published. Many will live on in my word processing log, where I can print it out and share with my family if and when I choose.
I never thought one week away could be so transformational. The reflection and conversation I had with myself and my husband is not only necessary, it is enlightening. Consciously deciding to make your life better is so powerful. Our week was the epitome of a teachable moment.