Today was the perfect day for the beach. And so that’s exactly what we did.
It started out as a walk in the forest with friends. The moms trailed behind, and we watched our children run freely ahead of us on the narrow trails, up and down the steep slopes. The forest was thick. Roots stuck out of the ground haphazardly and the children hopped over them as they ran. We came upon a cool stream, trickling its way over a rainbow of pebbles. Some crossed over it using a fallen log, and others splashed happily through the water with rainboots. The mosquitoes were particularly feisty today, so we quickly changed plans and headed over to the beach just a few minutes from where we were.
We played on the beach for hours. We waded in the water and enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air. A cool breeze was blowing off the lake. The children found a corner of the beach where millions of shells had washed up onto the shore, and were busily collecting them into buckets. It was a soul nourishing afternoon. We left with our hearts full.
These photos weren’t taken today; they were taken on another beach adventure of ours not too long ago. Lots of free time leads to many adventures. Days like today lie in stark contrast to the school days I remember from my own childhood. Sitting at a desk, in a climate controlled environment, looking out the window and counting down the minutes to recess. I remember standing in lots of lines. I remember rigid schedules and deadlines. Then there was the school bus; that loooong ride home that came at the end of a day that seemingly stretched on. Not to mention the homework that still needed to be done. I was bored, and I was tired.
On the beach today, a mother candidly asked me why we chose to homeschool. The question seemed almost humorous as I looked over at my kids playing in the lake on this beautiful day. Feeling confident in my choice, I told her if I had to sum it up in one word, it would be freedom.
Freedom to learn at their own pace. Freedom to cater to their learning style. Free time. Free play. Freedom to learn out of interest. Freedom to make mistakes without penalty. Freedom.
And to think that we almost didn’t make this choice, because of fear.
Over time, I’ve gotten used to the questions. But there was a time I feared the conversations I’d surely have about our choice to take this unconventional path.
My thought of the day: What if you let go of the fear that inevitably comes from doing things differently? Imagine how freeing that would be. To be your authentic self, regardless of what others thought.
Fear is the thief of joy.
I am happy. Happy that we allowed ourselves to choose our own path… And happy that we let go of the fear that inevitably comes from doing things a bit differently. ✌🏼