Why endings matter.

It’s finally June. The sun is peeking out and we can see the end of the school year. Correction, the homeschool year.

Last September we chose to take the leap and jumped into homeschooling our children. In total honesty we had no teaching plan at the beginning, a lot of trepidation (make that fear) and an instinct that told us this was right for us.

We reached out to some homeschooling groups, I attended an online session that explained more about what to expect. I even reached out to a former homeschooler, (thanks Pauline) to try to get a picture, a shape, a sound, a sense of what it was going to be like and what I’d need to do.

And then we jumped.

Shifting landscapes

As expected the landscape of homeschooling shifted.

We had theme weeks, weeks based on keeping the basics going and weeks that had many outings. We re-grouped, again and again.
As brand new teachers we looked at what holes were there, what was working and what wasn’t and we adjusted. We played to our strengths and leaned on each other for the areas that didn’t work when we were teaching them. We reached out to the community online for a while, then we did our own thing.
We got ideas, we shared ideas.
We got Maths Factor.

Alongside of this I launched my business, got an ear infection, antibiotics, another ear infection and built my website. Learned about business, got a business mentor (thanks Jonathan), learned to meditate, got great at walking daily, stopped for a while, began again. I showed up for my friends, family, clients and students. Another ear infection, more antibiotics, another week lost to pain. I read up about marketing and learned how to teach frontal adverbials.

I figured out how my son and daughter learn. I had days where I really thought I had this teaching thing and others where when we lost the first hour we lost the whole day.
Methods changed, adjusted and changed again. I got a tiny bit better. I found more things that worked.

Another ear infection. More antibiotics.

You’re getting the rhythm right?

Website launch, Maths Factor, support family. New way to teach multiplication that sticks. Lists used, lists discarded. We pivot and pivot, and finally get a glimmer of delight as something sticks and what was hard is easy.

I coach, get an ear infection, antibiotics, teach, reset, start again.
We navigate the world.

We’ve decided to return the kids to traditional school in September.
This time is coming to a close.

Meaning making

Here’s my opportunity. It’s time to make meaning.

Inspired by the Dare to Lead podcast (Brené Brown) with Priya Parker (author of The Art of Gathering, I just ordered it) I have taken her advice on ending a meeting and applied it to my homeschool year wrap up.

Meaning making disproportionally
happens at the last 5% of the experience.

Priya Parker (at the 45:45 marker, Dare to Lead podcast)

Think about that.

When we take this moment to close this significant chapter and reflect, we have the power to create a story that will serve my family moving forward. Stories are powerful things. They create a shape to understand shared experience. When I do this mindfully and collaboratively everyone feels heard and seen, and their voice is added as a part of the whole. We get to own and root our experience. Humans are meaning making creatures. Knowing this gives me the opportunity to create a practice that will serve me and my family as we move through life.

I’ve even been given a structure to work from (thank you Priya). I’ve learned it’s helpful to ask:

  • What transpired?
  • What did we learn?
  • How have I/we been changed?
  • How do I/we exit?
  • What are my follow up steps? How do I/we move forward?
  • Connect people to purpose
  • Have an exit question; perhaps what is the one thing most learned that is going to help you?

This is my work. It has the potential to frame this experience in a way that will not only serve us in the future but will lay a foundation reference point for our family and this chapter of our lives.

Wish me luck.