Google The Unplanned Homeschooler: Around and around we go

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Around and around we go

I love riding a Ferris wheel. Next year will mark 125 years since George W. Ferris built the first Ferris wheel in Chicago in 1893. Ever since then, thrilled riders have hung on as wheels around the world took them to new heights, showing them unique views of the world around them along the way.



My favorite part of riding the Ferris wheel is not the exhilarating, non-stop ride you enjoy once the cars are full and the wheel gets up to speed. It's actually the many stops along the way, each one at a different point on the wheel, as some riders get off and new ones get on. Every stop brings a new view, a new perspective to sit back and enjoy. Sometimes even the air seems different at a new stop. I love to just look around and take it all in, enjoying every moment before it passes, always too quickly, and the wheel starts moving again.

Life as a homeschooler is a lot like a ride on a Ferris wheel. Each year we go around and around again, sometimes letting one child off as they graduate and leave the home, other times bringing a brand new student on board as a little one joins the learning crew. And along the way there are stops, each at a new point with so much to discover.

It's a brand new school year, and as I sit here in my recliner, organizing the resources I will use for the classes my kids will be taking in the fall, my heart skips a beat. I feel like I am sitting on a Ferris wheel, near the top but not quite, my gondola swaying in the breeze as I look at my children. My twins are about to start 10th grade. How did they grow up so quickly? They'll start driving this year, and taking concurrent enrollment classes at the local university. Don't move, wheel. Not yet.

My youngest will be starting 5th grade this semester, a year ahead of where she would have been if she'd started kindergarten in public school at age five. She's excited for the changes this year will bring, as she joins a new co-op and maybe makes new friends.

I feel the wind change and I know that the ride is about to take off again. This year will be different than any of the ones before. After eight long years, I finally retired my post as leader of the local homeschool group, and going into this school year I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I laugh in anticipation of a fun year, thankful for the mom who took over my duties so I could change my focus. The view is different from here.

School starts back for us full time next week. The Ferris wheel is about to start spinning again. I take a deep breath and one last look around. I'm ready! How about you?