No Manual — It’s a Trust Journey
That's a statement that can sound daunting, especially if you're just embarking on your homeschooling journey. But to hear Alejandra Wilkerson deliver that statement with a cool resolve and a curious sense of joy is nothing short of inspirational. Her encouragement is simple—you will be able to pivot when you need to as long as you are trusting in God to guide you, the parents, as you earnestly and faithfully engage in the education and upbringing of your children.
The following are pages from Alejandra's newsletter, "The Heart of Homeschooling."
We've been talking lately to CLRC homeschooling families to find out from them their tips on successful homeschooling. In the To Do list above, #2 and #5 really spoke to me as a beginning homeschooler. Alejandra expresses the need to plan your weekly lessons and daily rhythms (at least anticipate the patterns and flows of the coming week) but also to place importance on having fun. If we go about the tasks without joy and if we can't find pleasure in it, then there is something that needs adjustment.
In this excerpt, you can see something that is shared in the Waldorf educational approach, a participation in the seasons that prioritizes an attentiveness to nature and rhythmic responses that go beyond mere observation: "For the home teacher, the quiet space and earlier bedtimes [that come with the shortening days of late autumn] provide room for self care. Take out a book, light a candle, ... nourish yourself after giving so much of yourself to your cherished ones." Alejandra's stories, suggestions, and contemplations are all invitations and hints for cultivating joy.
Finally, these tips that Alejandra shares are things we have heard from homeschooling parents across the map of CLRC families. We have asked what three tips they would share with other homeschooling families, and we heard many similar sentiments. Alejandra reminds us to "Remember why you are doing this and don't doubt your decision." "Be flexible." "Stick with it - even when you feel like you're not succeeding (tomorrow is always different!" "Don't be afraid to change things up."
Alejandra lives in California with her husband and 6 children.