The joy of Christmas gifts usually lasts for days. Sometimes the paper and the mess lingers as well. Today is El Dia Reyes, or Three Kings Day when we celebrate the arrival of the three kings, bearing gifts, who came to worship Jesus. Today I am thinking about all the big gifts that don’t come wrapped in beautiful paper or topped with a sparkling bow. The gifts that had to travel a distance to awaken in my heart.
I am a reading teacher by trade and by passion, but I haven’t been paid by a school in quite some time. My energy has been on raising my daughter and just when I thought I was ready to return to a school, the pandemic hit. I became head teacher of a school of one. I honestly never thought homeschool was something I would explore for any period of time. I am a huge public school supporter and had worked in public schools for over 10 years. But, here we were and it wasn’t so much a choice as a necessity. It was daunting, confusing and down right exhausting. Overwhelmed by other’s expectations, I found myself ignoring what I knew was right for my child, what my training had told me was solid instruction - following a school district’s path. Fast forward to this past summer when we were faced with the decision to homeschool or not. We were at Camp and filled with summer freedom and Family Camp grace. I chatted with other homeschool families and we made the jump.
This time around we are completely untethered from the school system. We are free to receive the gift of this time. Emma is thriving as we explore her passions and learn about engineering and ornithology as a family. We spend hours outside with books in hand asking and answering questions. We solve endless math equations on paper and mentally. The world is our classroom and we are free to roam through. Now I will admit there is plenty of “wrapping paper” strewn across the floor of our lives. We are continually unwrapping this gift and finding how it fits into
our next days. However this gift, that took so long for us to take fully in, has become central to our lives and we are ever thankful.