“If we get lost, let’s meet by the big tree where we play,” my 5-year-old, Ezra, said to his 8-year-old brother on their way to school. It was my younger son’s first day of kindergarten. Listening to his sage reasoning – reasoning I’ve long suggested about what to do in a crowded space where we might get separated: pick a meeting spot – wrenched my maternal heartstrings. What was I doing, sending my youngest child off to school? All year, I’ve wrestled with the decision of whether to begin by teaching my youngest child at home, as I did with four of his siblings. My motives for homeschooling are not purely academic. As a writer who works from home, I enjoy having my children near me. Reading together, snuggled under a blanket on the couch, is one of my favorite activities. And I’ve learned from experience that once you send children away, you don’t get them back in the purely devoted way they needed you before.
Do you long for change? Last December, when we bought our little house in the big woods, the weathered shingles were as gray as a dreary winter day. A rusting light fixture hung outside the mold-stained fiberglass door, with the house number scrawled on front with black permanent marker.
Sometimes it feels that we can do little to stop the violence and hatred. Whether in our own country or far away, there is so much strife and misunderstanding, such fear. It is easy to become paralyzed. How can we, with our little efforts, bring lasting change?