“I’m not smart enough to homeschool,” I told myself the first time that God put it on my heart. (See also: “Who am I that I should lead your people out of Egypt?”)
Time is a fog, but I was pregnant with Babygirl when I first entertained the notion of homeschooling, so the Bug wasn’t much more than a year. Even so, I could already feel the window closing on good ol’ “science magic” as an explanation for how things work.
Fast forward a year and change, and here I am with homeschooling on my heart again. This time, though, it’s much easier to see how that journey would be a natural extension of the life of exploration that we already live.
The Bug is obsessed with skeletons, so we’ve just run with it. He will help me dismantle a rotisserie chicken and make skeleton soup (chicken stock). We hunt for simple anatomy books at the library. We visit the Natural History museum to see dino skeletons. You name it.
This afternoon, we were sitting on the couch, reading Inside Your Outside (a must have for any tiny anatomy junkie) and, he said, indicating an illustration of the spine and brain, “This part goes up in my brain in back right here.” Then, “What is my back brain called?”
I thought for a moment, then answered honestly, “I can’t remember,” but quickly went on, “I’m pretty sure it says in your other skeleton book!” So we hurried over to the bookshelf and pulled out My Amazing Body (also fantastic). We skimmed through the pages until we found the diagram of the brain and the answer to his question. (Cerebellum, BTW)
As we continued flipping through his “skeleton books,” I couldn’t help but consider what might have been lost in that moment if I had retained more from my high school biology class and been able to answer to his question. At this stage, I have to believe that there is more value in sometimes saying, “I don’t know. Where can we find the answer?” than in being All Knowing Mommy.
And I like being All Knowing Mommy; I’ll admit it. It feels good to have someone look to you for answers and to actually have them. But I’m done feeling embarrassed or guilty when I have to come back with, “I’m not sure. Who can we ask?” because nobody knows everything – not even Mommy – and I want my kids to know that. I want them to understand that knowledge isn’t finite, that they can learn anything they’re willing to search for the answer to.
I still have no idea whether we will homeschool. We have two years and a million other decisions before we have to make that choice. In the meantime, I am enjoying learning alongside these tiny adventurers everyday and am grateful for everything I’m able to teach them, perhaps the most valuable, that “not knowing” is simply a step on the way to “knowing.”