Once upon a time, there was a homeschool mom, frazzled, worn out, snappy to her children, and generally feeling defeated. Her two stepsisters, Worry and Fear, were constantly making snide comments to her about her effectiveness at educating her children.
“Aren’t you worried that they will fall behind their peers?” questioned Worry.
“Aren’t you afraid that they can’t get into college?” asked Fear.
“Aren’t you worried you are forgetting to teach them something important?” interrogated Worry.
“Aren’t you afraid they are too sheltered?” queried Fear.
The stepsisters were so awful that they even got the townspeople to harass the homeschool mom when she was out and about with her kids. At the market she’d hear, “What about socialization?” At the park someone would ask her, “Are you qualified to do this?”
Every night the homeschool mom would collapse in front of the fireplace out of exhaustion and cry herself to sleep. The next morning she’d wake up determined not to prove Fear, Worry, and the townspeople correct. She purchased curriculum for at least 12 different subjects to make sure she didn’t leave anything out. When she found out what the local schools were doing, she decided to add a couple more subjects she hadn’t thought about. She came up with beautifully regimented schedules to make sure she could cram everything into their day. When the children took too long she would shout, “Hurry up! We still have 5 subjects to complete!” When the children interrupted to relate a story or ask a question, she responded in a brisk manner, “We’ll deal with that later. Right now focus on math.” By the end of the day, the homeschool mom and the children felt stressed, uninspired, and no longer wanted to even be in the same room with each other.
After months of this routine, the homeschool mom walked out into the backyard one evening. She realized that she couldn’t do it anymore. She would have to put the kids in school. She felt she was an abysmal failure and knew she was turning into a tyrannical mother that she didn’t even recognize. As she looked up at the moon and contemplated enrolling the kids on the morrow, she heard the sound of tinkling bells behind her. Turning around, an astonishing sight greeted her!
A tall, statuesque woman dressed in Grecian robes with a laurel wreath crown stood in front of her. She smiled serenely at the homeschool mom, “I have come to assist you in your desire to educate your children. My name is Scholé and I am your homeschool’s fairy godmother.”
“My homeschool has a fairy godmother?” the homeschool mom asked incredulously.
“Absolutely. In fact my name, Scholé, is where your English word school originated. My name’s meaning has long since departed from any form of school that I’ve seen,” smirked the fairy godmother, “but I’m here to help you turn your homeschool into a place of rest and leisure which is what my name means. So tell me, homeschool mom, what would your dream homeschool day look like?”
The homeschool mom proceeded to outline days spent in deep conversation and contemplation, quiet afternoons spent curled up on the couch reading from great books, diving into learning with eagerness, and ending the days feeling pleased and confident.
When she finished her five minute speech, Scholé burst into laughter. “You know this isn’t a fairy tale right? I can’t make every day like that. You are merely human as are your children. You will still have rough days, even bad ones, but I can help you transform your homeschool into something that comes closer to that vision,” promised the fairy godmother.
“Here’s what I can give you. I can help you prioritize the things that are important in this world: truth, beauty, and goodness. I can help you determine what curriculum and books will cultivate those traits in both you and your children. I can help you focus on the end goal, which is not college or perfect scores on a test, but helping your children be the best adults they can be. I can help you silence the voices of those stepsisters of yours by giving you the confidence that even though your school might not look like anyone else’s, you are walking this path knowing that it is not a sprint, but a marathon. I can transform your homeschool days by giving you peace that you are educating your children at their pace and to their strengths despite what the grade level on the book says.”
“Yes,” cried the homeschool mom in despair, “I want that! What do I need to do?”
“You need to throw out what you believe school to be,” answered Scholé, “and learn what teaching from a place of rest is. Not rest meaning that you are doing nothing, but rest in that you are doing everything that needs to be done for the goal of nurturing souls.”
“I will, Fairy Godmother! I will!” asserted the homeschool mom. “And since you mentioned transformation earlier,” she asked sheepishly, “is there any way you could transform me to look like you?”
I hope you enjoyed my autobiographical description of how I learned about scholé. If you’d like to read some other great definitions of what this teaching from rest and leisurely homeschooling is all about check out my fellow Everyday Scholé blog buddies:
Let me know in the comments below.