This is a letter to Isla as we continue our homeschooling journey. The choice to homeschool her was never planned but something I believe the universe pushed us towards. Now seeing how easily society & the world can be swayed & broken…it makes me even more certain about this particular path for her. A path where we aren’t relying on anyone else to get us through the next year, month, week or day. It´s a way of teaching her how to learn vs. just what to learn. It´s a more natural approach to learning without all of the outside distractions from the world, without a focus on technology, free of questionable influences on young minds or pressure for kids to grow up quickly.
I wanted to write down the reasons why we homeschool for her to look back on one day & remember what’s been an amazing journey so far for both of us! It´s a topic I get asked a lot about and I have no problem sharing our why with everyone else.
I feel incredibly blessed to have had the chance to be there every step of the way as you learn & grow through these important formative years. Often the lines between homeschooling & just living life are blurred for you…which I think is an incredible gift. It’s exactly how I want life for you to be…full of adventure, getting to spend most of your days outdoors, exploring, meeting people and learning through play with everything you do and everywhere you go. You’re still only 7 and I want you to be able to spread your wings and embrace being wild & free learning through your own little discoveries!
In just a few years the reasons to homeschool you have varied but the main intention has always remained to have your best interests at heart. We’re figuring out a lot of this together as we go and I’m trying to follow your lead. We’ve done a ¨bit more of this and less of that¨ approach changing as you grow older.
Initially homeschooling worked perfectly for our constantly on the go lifestyle which involved regular hotel stays for work at all-inclusive resorts and tons of travel by choice to spend as much time in Canada as possible with lots of other international trips mixed in. You had set foot in 3 different continents before your 4th birthday between Canada, Mexico, the USA, Cuba, Iceland & Thailand already getting to experience so much life at such a young age. I didn’t want a strict school schedule to get in the way of that opportunity and I have no regrets. I also can´t think of a better place for you to learn than outdoors on the beach in the sun, sand and by the water. Sometimes we use books & worksheets but often we just find whatever tangible element we can such as something found in nature, through playing specific games or using educational tools I’ve picked up to help us along as we’re both hands on visual learners. Other times we just roll with whatever new experience the day has in store for us!
Over the past two years so many kids around the world saw their regular traditional classrooms turn virtual because of COVID restrictions. Instead of sitting confined somewhere in a room wearing a mask & being told you had to distance from other kids or staring at a computer screen at home…we continued doing what we were already doing by homeschooling on the go wherever we were because it worked for us. It worked for you.
I never had a big master plan to homeschool you but was continuously drawn in to the idea. I can remember when you were just 2 we accompanied friends of ours in Cancún to a mother’s day assembly at their son’s high end private school. They had wanted to show off the school in hopes you would attend the same one and I was open to the idea because here in Mexico sending your child to a bilingual private school is what you’re “supposed” to do if you’re in a position to do so. It’s a privilege and what all good parents with the resources to do so do without question. However I don’t always do as I should and as soon as we arrived and I saw all of these children march around in their matching uniforms and their fancy moms (many of whom were in their 20s) talk about boob jobs & Botox…I froze. Nothing about that environment felt right to me. I’m by no means a pushover mom without any rules or boundaries but when I saw all of those kids robotically lined up and then I looked over and saw you happily playing around jumping from some benches in to the grass it all somehow just clicked. I knew I wanted more for you in your toddler & important young formative years than buying in to everyone else’s idea of what we were supposed to do as a family. I didn’t want you to spend your days staring at 4 walls & obeying 1,000 rules. I knew I had to at least take a crack at providing you with the start of a different educational path.
I may not be a real teacher but I have invested so much time into trying to do my best to help prepare you for a lifetime of learning and curiosity. Following my gut has always served me well in life and everything about homeschooling has felt like the right path for you. I hope you’ll fondly look back on so many of the hands on learning experiences you’ve had and I hope they remain apart of you.
I also just love spending time with you. Somehow that offends other parents as they all quickly say they don’t have the time, the financial means or patience to homeschool their own child. Our decisions have no effect on their choices but still people are fast to weigh in and compare. Well Isla I don´t worry what others do or don´t do. YOU are my priority so we´ve designed our life around us having the upper hand to make those decisions and create those opportunities. It´s not all by chance or has just magically happened. I manifested this life into existence for you and work towards maintaining it every day. Everyone gets to make choices and these are the choices I´ve made for you. I love waking up each day and getting to be a part of your everyday life in such an impactful way. Our days are filled with adventures, big & small, and I’m grateful to be the one guiding you through them. You´re allowed to be my priority without any apologies or worrying about how anyone else thinks we should or shouldn´t raise you. Your Dadda & I want you to always feel loved, appreciated & excited. We are far from perfect parents but we’ve always tried to have the best intentions to help guide you though life.
I hope you enthusiastically find your purpose on this earth. I hope you always fill your life with experiences & not excuses. I hope you wander through life full of wonder. I hope you never lose your adventurous spirit. I want you to embrace everything that makes you unique & to find your voice. Please always stay silly. I hope you always continue to make friends wherever you go. I hope you always lead the way with compassion and strength. I hope you always stay curious, observant and ask questions…lots & lots of questions. I hope you follow your gut & listen to your inner voice when things don’t seem right…even if so many others around you disagree. I hope you find the strength to make difficult decisions. I hope your dreams stay big & your worries small. I hope you always choose to lead instead of follow. I hope you have the courage to be different. I hope you also embrace your differences. I hope you always have Año as a trusted sidekick. I hope you always stay connected to nature & turn to nature for answers first. I hope when you’re lost that you’re able to pause and find your way again. I hope you’re never afraid to ask for help when you need it. I hope you smile everyday. I hope you laugh everyday. I hope you always take care of yourself…mind, body & spirit. I hope you always believe in magic. I hope you know you’re everything I wished for and love you beyond measure.
I have no idea how long we’ll continue homeschooling. That seems to bother everyone else as everyone seems to only be able to function with these detailed life plans which makes me laugh because if the last 2.5 years have taught anyone anything it’s life is full of curveballs. We will continue to take each year as it comes and make decisions based on what’s best for you at that time and what you want to do.
For now we will be continuing along the homeschooling path as we start grade 2 and I will be right by your side with love & cheering you on, Momma