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Really enjoying preparing tomorrow's Wild + Free talk..."What I Wish Someone Had Told Me Twenty Years Ago."

And I'm also enjoying being on the Wise Older Woman side of the spectrum--at least when it comes to the home school world! No one told me that this would be so rewarding.

So, all you Wise Older Women (and Men) out there--what do YOU wish someone had told you, twenty years ago? (Assuming, that is, that you'd been able to HEAR it, which might be a different talk topic.)
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2 days ago


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Most of the other moms that you're trying to "keep up with" won't even be in your life in the next 5 years, much less 20. Stay home. Take the pressure off yourself by stepping out of the pressure to do more and keep up with others' agendas. Figure out what's best for you and yours and do it. I know this sounds cynical, but it's not meant to-- we weave in and out of other people's lives and it's not as important as it seems in the moment.

Compliance does not mean a child has taken a principle to his heart. And our insistence on compliance over heart attitudes may reveal our own (wrong) desire for control.

1. Teach the child in front of you. It doesn’t matter how many great reviews a curriculum receives if it doesn’t work for your child. Find what works for your kid and help them progress at their pace, no matter how slowly or quickly that is. 2. Support their interests and help them delve deeply into their passions. (My kid who loved maps and robots and computers will graduate in May with a BS in Geographical Information Science. He works with maps and drones and computers.) 3. Read to them a lot. When your day implodes and school doesn’t happen, sit down and read to them for 30 minutes, call it a win, and move on. 4. Travel as much as you can. We became big fans of road trips. The kids learned a lot and we made great memories. 5. Worry less, enjoy your kids more. It all works out in the end.

Study your kid more. Survey the homeschool universe less.

They're already people, not a project. Don't force your adult agenda - ever. Don't offer advice unless they ask for it. Listen more, talk less.

Here is what I would say to my younger self: 1. You will never be able to teach your child everything they need to know. 2. Your most important job is to lay a firm foundation for your child: Spiritually, emotionally and intellectually.

You don't have to everything in one day; however, you need to do something every single day.

1. Don't assume your kids will love every book you loved and hate every book you hated. 2. No, your son's handwriting is not going to get better on its own.

It’s almost a pat answer but it is a big truth..... That my home schooling would be as much about redeeming my own education, and character, as it ever has been about my children’s. That the rewards aren’t in their accomplishments, nor is that the measure of success. But in how I let that daily sacrifice and discipline shape who I am. I don’t know if you can release expectations until you’ve been forced to - but I wish someone had forced me to sooner. 😉

I would’ve bought an RV or a pop up camper as soon as everyone was out of diapers. Go see the country before all the “activities” and need for friends became the focus. Once they hit high school, it seemed like it was near impossible to travel very much anymore.

Love everything here!! I have 7, ages 4-20. I would go back and tell myself that I'm doing an amazing job and that my teenagers are awesome people and to calm the heck down and stop being so serious. Love them well, feed them well, provide the environment conducive to learning and don't freak out.

1. Listen to your gut, even if it scares the stuffing out of you. 2. You are not defined by the success or failure of your homeschooling. 3. That said, if homeschooling is truly failing, it’s okay (great, best) to find other options. 4. If it’s all going well, work hard to enjoy it. The days are long, but the years really do fly by. And heck yes the topic of why we (I) couldn’t hear input needs to be discussed.

Stay away from bandwagon people and approaches. Make excellent friends and hold onto them even when you think they might not be so excellent (unless they are legalistic, you don't need that). Be faithful. Don't just skip school all the time or not start at a certain time. Everyone responds better when they know what to expect. A wiser older mom told me, when I first started: 1) Know what's for dinner before you start school (it takes away stress and lets you focus to just have that settled) 2) Pick up a little so you just feel better in your mind and soul while you do your work. We're not talking spotless. We're talking about not feeling "Crazy out of your mind because stuff is everywhere".

Don’t believe the lie that says you cannot educate your own children. Someday these children who are challenging you will be your favorite people. I had two of them home from college and together for lunch last weekend. The business major and the chemical engineering major were discussing three dimensional mathematical modeling for economic problem solving. Someone at another table commented about our family discussion. All I could think of was that for them, this was normal, taking what they knew and applying it to creative problem solving, crazy discussions over meals. All my children are friends, even though they don’t live near each other. Those are the things I would share.

That it's all going to be okay and your kids are going to grow up to be amazing people even though you will make mistakes or not do everything perfectly. That the only parenting rules that should exist are: 1.) Love them desperately and make sure they know it, and 2.) Keep them alive. Everything else is just noise. And also, a stern warning that being an overbearing, controlling parent ends up ruining relationships for life, so if you're an authoritative parent, knock it off. Seriously.

That “training them up in the way they should go” is important, but it won’t make the teen years without their own bumps and struggles. You won’t agree on everything and they may even get a tattoo or dye their hair- and they are still awesome people who love the Lord. Children ARE born persons. We are not molding them. I think my children are more excited than I am that I will get to meet you this weekend. 😂 you have been a “friend” their whole lives.

I’m only homeschooling middle schoolers so I don’t think I count yet as older and wiser. But I am a second-generation homeschooler, and the thing I wish my mom would have heard is to be my mother first and foremost, not my teacher.

(I hope this talk will be available on a podcast or something! HATE that I'm missing it)

1. You’re influence really does matter! 2. Character is not just imparted, it is taught. 3. Know why you’re doing what you’re doing, write it down, and remind yourself every day, especially on the days you want to quit. 4. You are training them to be adults, not to run in a pack. And it is ok for people not to get that. 5. By the end of their schooling years, “it” all just kind of works itself out. Don’t stress about every tiny subject and concept. 6. Most importantly, It really will worth every sacrifice one day. I promise. ❤️

Every day is a new day. Don't carry over the frustrations or resentments of yesterday or last week into tomorrow. Set the example of being quick to apologize and forgive. And while it's wonderful to work on building new habits, learning new information, but don't forget to appreciate and compliment the kid you HAVE ALREADY.

Don’t think tomorrow the memories can be made doing things out side the box, if you are able to today, do it today. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, try something and if it doesn’t pan out as thought, that’s okay! Next time we’ll be the wiser. Keep reminding yourself: today is a present.

“Calm the heck down, woman. Nothing’s perfect, so just roll with it. Also, no matter how much snuggling you do, it’ll never have been quite enough. Roll with it.”

Relax. Enjoy the people (kids) God has given you. Read the book/do the project/take the trip while they’re still home and still excited to do these things. When you’re in the trenches it feels like forever, but you’ll wake up one day and it’ll be almost over. And you’ll be sad to think there is no one left to read to/do the project with/take the trip with. Enjoy the journey of love-educating your kiddos!!!

Your child is not going to need a parenting approach. Your child is going to need a parent. Listen to people who have already done stuff, then modify as needed to fit your individual family.

Everything is easier if your kids know you are on their side (even if they don't always get to do what they want). When you hit a stage where they are happy to do a lot of academic work, take advantage--it won't always be like that.

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As I'm preparing to speak at the Wild + Free conference this weekend, a passage from ALWAYS WE BEGIN AGAIN (John McQuiston's re-interpretation of the Rule of St. Benedict) keeps recurring.

Quit the search for salvation,
it is selfish,
and come to comfortable rest
in the certainty that those who
participate in this life
with an attitude of compassion
will receive its full promise.

So much of what we pursue is centered on finding THE ANSWER: the key, the thing that will unlock the vault of our mysteries; the answer to our questions; the discipline that will shove our lives into the shape we've always hoped they would have; the guard rails that keep us pointing towards the goal; the solution to our central problem.

That's what we think of as salvation.

Not going to happen. (Yeah, mate, I've got you on that one. Full comprehension here.)

Those who participate in this life with an attitude of compassion will receive its full promise.(And I think I'll be grappling with THAT for the next decade.)
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2 days ago


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BrandyErik Wallace I wish we were going to this conference!

Thank you for sharing this thought. Looking forward to hearing you this weekend. WTM has been a guide for many many years of our homeschool journey.

Thank-you. On this side of the planet, that was the first thing I read. I needed that. Please do let us know if there winds up being a recording of this talk. Meanwhile, this book definitely goes on my list for this year!

So wish I could hear you speak at this conference.

God thoughts, thank you for posting this.

I’m sticking that right next to my Dalai Lama quote.🌞. It’s beautiful! Thank you!

Grapple if you must. But so much better to rest in.

A relief and yet a challenge. Wish you all the best at the conference.

Thank You for these words, I needed to hear that tonight. I do believe and I tell everyone I know that we are responsible for our footprint to live a life of compassion. But I have not thought about the full promise part, I agree. Much to grapple with.

So excited to hear you speak this weekend! Cannot wait to glean just a little of your wisdom!

A good word, Susan, thanks! I often think of this quote when I'm in the middle of "trying to figure it all out" and find the answer:

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I appear to be re-starting my semi-annual round of viewing Deep Impact, Contagion, The Core, Titanic, and I Am Legend. This generally says something about the state of my writing projects.

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