Time. Inspiration. Mentors. Creativity. Service. Connections.
These are the staples in our home educational "system." If we don't create time on our calendars and space in our home for these family ideals...what good does learning to read and calculate do for us anyways?
Back before Christmas, my right-brained girl who prefers creating something--anything--with her hands over conquering page after page in a workbook declared her desire to learn how to crochet. She'd been eyeing Sister F. at church who sits a few pews in front of us and has a new project on her lap each week. Kirsti's heart and mind were mature enough to magnetically notice and feel moved in a new direction.
I couldn't really relate.
But there was a sparkle in Kirsti's eyes that caught my attention. (It reminded me of that bursting feeling I get when I'm on the hunt for a unanswered brain question...there's no use thinking about something else.) So I freed her from my expectations of math, spelling, grammar, and writing for a day and sat back to watch her...and learn from her.
She gathered some yarn and a crochet hook that I'd had stashed away in a dark corner (but little girls memorize where to find creativity) and she Googled 'How to Crochet' and 'How to Hand Knit'. She studied the videos with intensity and fumbled with the yarn between her fingers for several minutes...then an hour.
When enthusiasm didn't die out after the first few simple knots and stitches, we called Sister H., a crocheting mastermind who lives many of her hours in bed due to hip, back, and shoulder aches and pains. We asked her for a lesson...then two...then four.
She likes Kirsti's company and youthful enthusiasm. Kirsti is thrilled to have a new super-talented friend.
After a few months...they decided to crochet a quilt together. Kirsti made about 4 squares of the quilt all by herself. Sister H. made the other 16-ish. They tied off loose ends together one day.
When finished, Kirsti presented the masterpiece to a 14-year-old girl from church who has a terminal disease called Batten's Disease. She is blind, mute, wheelchair bound, and very sweet. We love her and her family.
In the end (which actually feels more like a beginning), I'm pretty glad that my routine spelling and math agenda stayed on the shelf for a day, so Kirsti could take the time to stitch together more of who she is. I simply watched who my daughter is and continue to marvel at who she is becoming.
She is not me. She is not anyone else. She is her own incredible, beautiful self.
And I'm pretty sure that the world will be a better place not so much because of the good people I may try to mold my children into, but because of the divine blossoms that are already inside them waiting to bloom...if I can just give them some fertile ground, clean water, and lots of sunshine.