I've learned a few things as Day Two of the NCHE Conference ends. And this evening, I've had some down time to think about them.
#1. My homeschooling adventure with my sons is far less about the curriculum I choose and infinitely more about the relationship I have with them.
Sure, school is important. It's necessary to learn to read and regardless of the difficulty, math is inevitable. But my sons are going to grow. They are going to grow, one day move out, and likely have families of their own. What they will take with them when they leave home will be the relationship they have with me and their father. That relationship needs my best effort now. I need to smile more and laugh more.
#2. I've learned that nothing is more important than #1.
Being here by myself has allowed me a lot of time to think. In fact, I've done just that for most of the evening. If I bring nothing else home this weekend, that's ok. If I leave here without purchasing one piece of curriculum...that's ok. If I use a computer-based curriculum instead of books...THAT IS OK!
What I need to leave here with is determination to build a great relationship with each of my sons. Truthfully, in a lot of ways, my relationship with them is pretty awesome. I love on them so much that when I say "I love you," they say "Mom, I know, you tell me like one hundred times a day....!" Really, it's only when it comes to school that we have issues. But I can change that. I need to change that.
How is your relationship with your children? How is their relationship with you as their teacher? Todd Wilson said a lot of amazing things today. He reminded me that the outcome of homeschooling my children has little to do with their ability to recite math facts and everything to do with our relationship. When they grow up & move out, the spelling curriculum we used will not be a topic of conversation. The memories we made, how much fun we had, how much I love them....those will be the things they remember.