As I told you yesterday, in August of 1990 I borrowed six grades of textbooks to use in our first homeschool experience. The teacher books that went with the curriculum stated emphatically that they could not be used by anyone other than the original purchaser. For the sake of integrity, I stored all those teacher books in boxes in the garage. In the end, that turned out to be a blessing. I had to think on my own. Doing that gave me freedom to adapt things for our family as a whole and for each individual child.
At the beginning of that first year, one of our children turned out to be very adept at math, but not quite ready for reading and language arts. I figured out pretty quickly that the math curriculum in that one-size-fits-all curriculum (I now believe one-size-fits-all stuff is better named one-size-fits-no-child-in-particular) was too easy for her. We had never even heard of a curriculum fair, our town certainly had no homeschool bookstore, I don’t remember having ever seen a homeschool catalog, and Internet shopping was far in the future. So, we drove over to our local Christian school and asked them please to sell us some math workbooks. They graciously said yes.
With first, fourth, and sixth grade textbooks before me, I quickly noticed that the children would cover similar subjects in science, but that the order in which they would study them was different in the various textbooks. That seemed silly, so I switched the chapters around so we could study similar things at the same time.
Slowly, slowly, with little baby steps, this mama who had always been a homeschooling mama at heart was learning to struggle out of my school cocoon and start to emerge. I took way longer than a butterfly does. I didn’t really break free of that confining cocoon until almost three years later, but I did learn to peek out often and I really liked what I saw in the great, big beautiful world of homeschooling freedom.
If I were starting a new school year soon, I’d be a butterfly right from the start.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free;
therefore keep standing firm
and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
As happens with some frequency, I didn’t have a clue when I started this post where it would end up. I had no idea I would begin with six years of textbooks and end with a butterfly. As I was writing, the butterfly photos I took yesterday morning came to mind. We are having a butterfly bonanza around our house, reminding me of another butterfly bonanza we had a few years back.
They have been flitting around the mimosa tree and in the yard outside the kitchen window. Yesterday they were going from flower to flower in one of the many prolific oregano patches in my flower garden. I don’t know one butterfly from another, but I saw five different kinds of winged beauties this morning. I think a couple of them may have been moths. All were beautiful. You creation enthusiasts (I like that term better than “nature lovers”), who are much better observers than I, can tell me what kind of butterfly this one is. This is how they look from another angle.