Posted by: Tracy Barsamian Ventola | September 17, 2019

The Main Thing

cropped-raw-152.jpg Well…we’re back at it!  Our homeschool year is officially in full swing.  Today we went to our coop’s first meeting, and talking with the other moms really got me thinking about why some families thrive while homeschooling and others suffer, and eventually end up sending their kids to school.

During our first year of homeschooling, I wrote the post “Why Homeschooling is Working for Us”.  In that article, I explained that the secret to our homeschooling success:

THE MAIN THING

IS TO KEEP

THE MAIN THING

THE MAIN THING.

Look at how general those words of wisdom are:  the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.  There is no one right main thing.  But you do need one main thing!

Seven years ago, I explained that the OFF KLTR main thing is pace.  A SLOW pace.  And saying “no, thank you” to really great enrichment opportunities has made our homeschool experiment successful to-date.

All these years later, I would refine “slow pace” to “social, emotional, and spiritual development”.  In some ways, I didn’t have the luxury of being “an academic” homeschool mom.  You can’t exactly teach multiplication to a crying, screaming, and thrashing child!  Yes, it is my responsibility to teach them their times tables, but first we calm the seas!  And when I keep the main thing the main thing, life is good.

My very best homeschooling friend is a classical homeschool mama.  And so giving her kids the gift of a classical education is her main thing.  When she keeps that her main thing, life is good.

Here is what is really important about this:  the children are not deciding what the main thing is; the homeschool parents are responsible for holding the homeschooling.  We are responsible for deciding on the main thing and holding that as the main thing.

My classical homeschool mama friend requires that her kids read certain books and do certain math exercises before they can go out and play.  She doesn’t ask the kids how they feel about that – because she is holding the homeschool main thing.

I force my kids to see herbalists and energy healers.  I don’t ask them whether or not they’d like to go.  I’m the mother.  I am holding our main thing:  social, emotional, and spiritual development.

Now in both of these cases, our kids have a lot of time and space to figure out what really interests them.  But their lives are held in different containers of homeschooling.

And because both my friend and I are following our hearts and doing what we believe is in the best interest of children, we are happy homeschooling.  I know I’m a broken record about it, but when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

So mama, if you’re not happy, you gotta make you happy.  Think about how you want to hold homeschooling for your family.  What’s your main thing?

Wishing you so much love and light on this journey!  Tracy


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