Turns out that my spiritual reading a few mornings ago was also a homeschooling book. I did not intend to pick it up that day, or even this week, or month. I just knew that I had a hot cup of tea, some sunshine, quiet time because everyone was still sleeping and an urgent need to improve my spiritual reading plan.
It was just sitting in a little stack on my shelf of Catholic books; I knew I needed to look through this book eventually. My dearest friend, and co-author of this blog, had a chapter in it. That was my only motivation. I could not bring myself to find more. I admit....it was almost a burden to have to read it.
I have had this book in my possession at least since September, when Willa lent her extra copy to me, but it might be longer. I cannot remember. I just never felt inspired to read it, until a few days ago, which also happened to be the Feast of Pentecost. I have homeschooled for over a decade, and have read so much that one more book on the topic of homeschooling felt like overload. In addition, with this last year feeling like one of my most dismal years of homeschooling yet, I certainly did not want to read about anyone else's successful experiences. Too depressing a thought.
I am so tired and feeling sad about my lost year......when I went from unschooling by default (the phrase I use to describe our method of homeschooling) to nonschooling.....that I had no room for anything to inspire me. I cannot even begin to put out the energy needed to plan for next year.
It is actually mildy heartbreaking for me to read Willa's planning posts. I can't do that now (plan). And reading the comments from those who are inspired by her posts is a little distressing as well..... I want to be inspired. I just have no where to go right now with the inspiration.
It could be knowing my fifth child will be starting with the independent study part of the local high school, so he can play the sports he thrives on so much and realizing I will not have much control over what he is learning....... it certainly will not be literature-based (he is okay with this...it is my hang-up....and rightly so, I think :) )......but he will still be learning at home, with THEIR deadlines looming over our head.
So, guided by the Holy Ghost, I pick up the book, on His Great Feast Day.
In my natural reading style, I found myself following the advice of Mortimer J. Adler, author of How to Read A Book: using the Second Level of Reading, known as Inspectional Reading. I check out the front cover, back cover, contents, dedications.....and there, I see, not only one dear friend, but many dear friends. Somehow, I missed that so many of my in-real-life (or long-time Internet) acquaintances were co-authors. a very pleasant surprise indeed.
I realized that the stories of these ladies would not be something foreign to me. I have know almost all of them for at least ten years. I have chatted with them.... on the computer, the phone, and some in real life. I have shared their life journeys as well as their homeschool journeys. I have prayed for them, laughed with them, discussed with them.....cried with them. When I read their words, I will know them. I have been reading their words for a decade. these people will be REAL, to me. I love that. It will be such a comfort.
I realized, while reading the Foreward and Introduction of A Little Way of Homeschooling, that God most definitely had words within this book, just for me, at just this moment. How grateful I felt.
Maybe, just maybe......... And with sincere hope, I just might find in these pages the inspiration I need to move more cheerfully forward in our twentieth year of homeschooling.
This is not about homeschooling for me today, it is about hope.
PS I will try to write various notes as I read through the book. I will not be leading a fancy book discussion, but if anyone wants to follow along reading their own copy........I would like that. Let me know if you are interested. I will not be reading it very fast. I will try to write my thoughts with each reading. I would love to share with you. Willa.......you, too!