The Little Beautiful Place

The first question I get when I tell people I homeschool is, “How long will you do that for?” (As long as it works.)

The second question I get is, “How will you teach math?” (Apparently none of us wants to revisit trigonometry.)

And, if people aren’t terrified by the idea of having their kids home forever and teaching them math, they usually come to the question that really matters, “Why?”

So, as this is my first homeschool post, I’ll answer that big question which should be answered first.

I accidentally read a homeschooling book in 2019. I had never intended on homeschooling, I had a 2 year old and a 6 month old, and I bought a book on my Kindle thinking it was about parenting. It was, sort of, but it was about prioritizing what matters by choosing to homeschool. As I read, I could see myself on every page. I had a deep knowing that I was meant to live this way.

I told my husband, “I’m thinking about homeschooling our kids.” I guess I thought he’d shoot me down. I thought he’d likely ask me how I intended to teach math. I had no good answer. (I still don’t.)

Instead, he said, “Thank God.”

We’d never discussed homeschooling before, and I never knew he felt that way. I’m not sure he knew, either. But, when I said it, and he said it, the fate was sealed. We chose to homeschool, because we simply knew it was for us.

If I pick apart the “why” a little bit more, it comes down to different things for each of us. For him, he wants our kids to be independent thinkers, and we think homeschool is a better option for that. He also wanted a lot of autonomy and authority to make choices for our family, and entering schools inevitably means compromise and flexibility to that bigger system.

This is school. Valuing our time in nature, our time together, and our own physical health.

For me, I want to teach my kids that time is the most valuable currency we have, and we should use it to gain the most valuable resource: relationships. Deep, meaningful relationships take a tremendous amount of simply being there. I felt homeschool would give us more time to be there – to just be in general – and that is worth the little bit of extra work.

As we entered my older daughter’s kindergarten year, we felt convicted in our choice to let her education flow from home. We want to rethink the amount of time spent in the classroom. We want to emphasize connection with the natural world, with each other, with our extended families and friends.

And we want our children to believe they have everything they need to live a fulfilling life already inside themselves.

The Little Beautiful Place was born.

The biggest gift I can give my kids is their relationship to one another. There’s so much I can’t fix about the world. There’s so much I can’t save them from. But, I can give them this safety of a person who will always love them. And homeschooling, for us, means their bond isn’t compromised by division of classes by age or by too many extra-curricular activities.

For now, as our kids are so young, our curriculum is minimal. We use movement, experiences, travel, and regular conversations to fit some basics into our day. Our biggest project is “The Little Beautiful Place Cooperative,” where three other families gather to enjoy a day together.

We use the Lavender’s Blue homeschool Kindergarten curriculum very loosely. Our day consists of sensory play, circle time, crafting, a group lunch and story, and a nature walk to a local park to play.

There are so many challenges, but none of them are insurmountable, and it’s all a learning experience for me as well as my children. I feel myself grow as a person and parent each week.

And there is truly so much beauty.