I have only ever been a Home Educating parent, it’s all I have experience of and all I know how to do. Which is not to say that I am not aware that every parent teaches their child, of course.
It does mean that I have been the one for all the tricky questions – I often tell people when I am explaining our style of Home Ed that Davies and Scarlett started with the ‘why…?’ questions as toddlers just like every other child, except that they carried on… and the end of the why questions got more complicated and sophisticated and rapidly reached heights at which I was learning just as much as they were. It is totally possible to learn alongside your children and all you really need to be teaching them is how to find out the answers rather than to have them all at your fingertips already.
I suspect that all parents have moments when they suddenly see the world anew through the eyes of their child, or learn something alongside them, or are reminded of something they once knew or already sort of knew but didn’t fully understand until they had to rephrase it for their child. I know I have been stopped in my tracks countless times over the last 13 years of parenting with ‘whoa!’ moments like that.
I recall hurrying along an alleyway with the children stepping over dog mess, skirting round the litter, wrinkling my nose at the smell of urine and damp when Scarlett tugged at my hand and pointed out the broken clear and green glass of beer bottles and said ‘Look Mummy, there are diamonds and emeralds in this alleyway’ as the sun caught the shards and made them twinkle.
I remember Davies piping up from the back seat of the car as I drove them to Tumble Tots ‘so were the first people babies or adults Mummy? And if they were babies who looked after them and if they were adults how did they get grown up?’
I also recall an afternoon sitting with a pile of picture books reading to them and The Drop in my Drink: The Story of Water on Our Planet being in the pile. It’s the story of how the drop of water in your glass today may have once been a tear from an Egyptian princess, or a wave in the ocean – the water cycle told in a factual yet whimsical way with gorgeous illustrations and the sort of re-telling of a fact you already know that makes you have a ‘whoa’ moment all over again. Just like when you look up at the stars on a clear night and see how they go on forever, making you feel smaller and smaller the longer you look at them and the more of them appear.
It has rained all day today. I was raining when I went to bed last night, raining when I woke up and it’s still raining now. It’s been a soup making, bread making, radio listening, static tidying, sock knitting, newsletter compiling, email catching up on, playing with toys kind of day. A little frustrating when there is much to be doing outdoors but productive and relaxing nonetheless.
Tonight on facebook a friend from a neighbouring Isle shared the motto “Today’s rain is tomorrow’s whisky – old Scottish proverb” which made me smile and reminded me of the drop in my drink book.
Today’s rain will help make tomorrows mud, essential for our plans for this year.