OK. I think I am ready to give myself permission. I am ready to commit. I am ready to say that I am homeschooling ALL of my kids this year.
(Gulp. Deep breath.)
Last year when people asked me why I homeschooled Elle, my short answer was “personal revelation.” My long answer was in this post: 9 Reasons I Am Homeschooling Elle.
This year my short answer to this common question will be different. If anyone asks me why I am homeschooling my children, I am just going to say “Roots”.
I want to give them ROOTS.
I want to give them roots in our family, in our values, in our work ethic, in our character, in our country, in our home.
My “roots” inspiration came from different thoughts I have been pondering for a while now.
I gave a talk years back about testimony. At the time my 5th graders were studying for end of year tests and I remember one of their science questions. It went something like this: “What is one way to prevent erosion?” The answer was to “plant a tree”. We learned that the roots of the tree help keep the soil in place through wind and storms. So I based my whole talk on this idea. I discussed what spiritual erosion is and what the roots are that hold our testimony in place.
Years later when I was setting up my blog, I found this quote from Harold B. Lee: “Beautiful, luscious fruit does not grow unless the roots of the tree have been planted in rich, fertile soil and unless care is given to the proper pruning, cultivation, and irrigation…” It’s been on my sidebar ever since.
Just last week I read in Alma 32:37, “And behold, as the tree beginnith to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us.”
Then on Facebook last week someone mentioned how there is the idea of good, better, best and branches are the “good and better” things like dance, baseball, drama, band, etc. and roots are the best — things like family scripture study, family dinner, family prayer, etc.
So like I said, “Roots” are the reason I want to homeschool my kids this year.
You don’t have to homeschool to develop roots. In fact I believe there are lots of ways to grow roots. But for me, at this time, I didn’t have sufficient time to plant sufficient roots unless I brought my kids home. I particularly felt the need to establish roots with both Elle and Crew, my two oldest. They are accelerating in dance and sports and are gone away from home an increasing amount of time at night and on the weekends. I couldn’t see them gone all day and then gone all night at practices.
When would they have time to grow roots in our family?
I didn’t want our home to be just a drop off place between school and extra curricular activities. I wanted our home to be a place of life-long learning and character development. I wanted our home to be the rich, fertile soil President Lee talked about.
Using all of these thoughts and ideas, the kids and I decided to name our homeschool: “Lemon Tree Learning Academy”. Croft made this cute sign for our school room door.
We are still working on our mascot, logo, and mission statement.
If I am being completely honest, I have moments of complete panic and regret and moments of complete clarity and peace about our decision. I am scared to death. But I am trying to remember my initial inspiration and I am trying to doubt my doubts. And I also must continually remind myself of my purpose.