My sorrow suddenly crept up on me and it caught me off guard. Warm tears filled my eyes as I gently laid my hands on top of the piles of books in the still open boxes. I pack the half-used highschool curriculum away, and I quietly realize that I feel sad.
These books are a wonderful curriculum and had I tried every which way to make it work, but my youngest daughter just did not connect with the package. The unread books simply became a boulder I felt I was pushing up a mountain.
“Have you read this week’s literature yet?” I would ask each week, knowing she had not.
We fell behind the already stretched out schedule and I finally admitted that it just would not work. We simply would not do the rest of the books. It didn’t help if I read aloud to her. The spark just wasn’t there.
It is not the unfinished course that bothered me. This happens, and I have learnt that when you force learning, it doesn’t stick. A child may have some short-term information, but, with no internal connections, it quickly fades.
I felt sad because there were treasures lying unopened in the box. Beautiful books, deep spiritual books, precious testimonies, amazing autobiographies, wonderful character-forming non-fiction books. I was sad for all these lost opportunities.
Perhaps, as I did in my early years of homeschooling, I could have pushed and insisted and maintained a stricter control over my daughter, but I did not. Maturity and two decades of homeschool experience have presented me with a different approach. One that recognises that I am simply a facilitator and encourager. My role as an educator is not to shove, push, pull, cajole, demand, insist, force, fret, or manipulate my child in her learning journey.
So, I acknowledge my feelings as I sit and cry for a little while. Then I wipe my eyes, neatly stack the books, pull the lid on and label the box. And it’s done. The era is over, that season is finished. I sigh and exhale the disappointment. I breathe deeply and accept what is and move on.
Sad tears as a part of letting go.