Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Path Unparalleled

Each step we take onto the path before us is different from anyone before or after us. This road is not constant. It shifts and breathes, opens cracks for some, potholes for others. It breaks into thousands of side paths that twist and merge and rejoin the main road as they please. No two of us walk it the same way. Some of us take long confident strides, others take tentative baby steps. Even if I were to step in the print of another, my foot would not fit exactly.

Look back along the tracks you have made. They are unique and distinct. This is what we are trying to teach our children. We each leave our own personal mark on the road. It cannot compare to another. I have three children with three separate methods for learning. Marina walks closest to me, but sometimes gets distracted by the flowers or a small animal and falls behind. She loves the details. I had to pick my way through brambles as I realized Chase would never be as open as Marina to reading or doing everything I suggested. He prefers to run in the brush along my path. I stumbled along my own path as I figured out that Sierra would learn by her own design and no other. She prefers to climb the rocks and sometimes hides behind the trees so she can jump out and surprise me. If I accept that they cannot compare to each other, how can I even consider comparing them to others who have chosen the more traditional, well-trodden route?

My path hasn't simply had potholes, it has had cliffs to climb and raging rivers to ford. My clothes have been muddied and torn from the effort of being a non-conformist. I've waded in the water and tried to stand in the current as I've watched others simply cross a bridge. If someone were to look over at me from that bridge, they might not understand the effort I put myself through. After all, there is an easier way.

And my answer would be that in spite of the difficulties, I'm having too much fun to give it up.


Chele said...

You made me think of that Frost poem: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

Happy nonconformity from a fellow educational bushwacker! The trail may be harder, but the views are certainly spectacular.

flmom said...

Words cannot even sum up how beautifully this is written. :)

appleleaf said...

What a beautiful analogy that also sums up the characters and different learning styles of your family. They must be pleased to have a mother with such insight.

Barbara Frank said...

Wow....I know just what you mean. And I have to tell you that after 27+ years of raising and teaching my children, it's still fun for me. I think it will be the same for you :)

Inner Elder said...

You have composed a parable. This is a very spiritual rendering of your homeschooling journey. I love the images: Sierra jumping out from behind a tree to surprise! Thank you so much for sharing. Love, Mom

sgaissert said...

I love this post. Can I get a T-shirt that says that?

Wmoon said...

If there is only one thing I have learned from homeschooling my daughters it is their learning styles.

Carol, Homeschooling two girls who each have their own learning styles.

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