We began homeschooling when our daughter was born, almost nine years ago.
When she was just a fresh, squishy faced little babe, I naively imagined shaping her into a marvellous young woman who would possess all of the traits necessary for success.
What I didn’t realize was that she was already a whole, tiny human…a complete package just waiting to burst, if we were there to help her unfold into adulthood.
I had always held a simplistic take on raising children. When faced with issues such as food, clothing, toys, childcare any beyond, I knew that less or in the case of food, the simplest, would be more, but I hadn’t realized the extent to which this was true.
When Wildflower was just ten weeks old, she turned to my mother, her own grandmother, and collided with her cheek, open-mouthed. Stunned, we both spoke out loud “did she just kiss?!”, and with that, she open- mouth smacked her again, right on the cheek. She proceeded to repeat this action ten times (which is how I remember that she was, in fact, just ten weeks). Each time the action was prompted by the word ‘kiss’ and only ‘kiss’. It sounds bizarre even as I type it, but she knew what she was doing, and she knew that this action had a specific name.
Now, we could easily have chalked this miraculous event up to foolishness. We could have agreed that she was simply ‘too young’, but we witnessed that moment, and it was beautiful.
In the months that followed, Wildflower learned to speak simple words, sit up, crawl, walk, dance, and sing. These are simple, yet valuable milestones in the typical development of a healthy child, that I didn’t teach her. I merely carried on in my everyday life, involved her, earned her trust, and she followed in my steps (which is how she also has my tone of voice at times).
This was the beginning of the most important lesson I’ve learned during our homeschool experience…the value of mentorship, and the beauty of learning to lead and follow…something one may have thought I would have learned through my first love of dancing, but something that could only truly be understood by witnessing my own heart beating outside of my body.