The One Thing I Want for My Children’s Lives

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This spring, Boy 1 (the 8-year-old) will start a new class for homeschoolers. Once a week, he will go to a 12-acre farm and do everything from caring for horses to fort building to creative writing. I was so thrilled to find this opportunity for him. Between activities organized by our homeschool organization and other extracurricular stuff, he already has several short, focused group activities along with free play time with friends.

I was looking for one more thing: a place for him to be with a consistent group of kids for a longer stretch of time working on varied projects—ideally in a semi-structured, nature-based environment with a whole-child approach. Then I heard about a weekly program called Earth Kids. BAM. For this, I will happily make the 45-minute trek every week. And I’m looking forward to some one-on-one time with Boy 2 (the almost 5-year-old), hanging out in the local library or park while his brother is in class.

The first step for enrollment was to fill out a questionnaire about my child and our family. Given the teacher’s philosophy and offerings, I wasn’t surprised to receive a list of interesting, thought-provoking questions. Here’s the one that stopped me dead in my tracks:

“What do you want for your child’s life?”

It doesn’t get any more open-ended than that, does it?

If I approached this questionnaire true to form, I would have written paragraphs in response to each question. Obviously, you could write pages to answer this particular one. For me, it was going to be hard not to. So I decided to challenge myself to keep it very short by distilling it down to the essence.

Here’s what I came up with:

I want him to feel free to be who he is and to have compassion and connection to others.

I thought about it later, and realized I could shorten it even more and still cover everything. I believe compassion and connection are at the center of all our hearts, if we are free to access those qualities and be who we truly are. So really, all that needs to be said is that I want my child to feel free to be who he is.

I’m grateful I was given the opportunity to go through this exercise. It has simplified and added some clarity to my parenting. When I feel stuck in fear and negativity, a little uncertain, or totally lost, I can practice returning to this as a guiding principle. I’ve tried it a few times, and it has moved me beyond the details of the current situation into remembering the big picture as well—just enough of a shift to help me collect myself and respond rather than react. Sometimes 😉

In as few words as you can manage, what do you want for your child’s life?

We can help each other stay focused on what is most important. If you want to play, please share what you came up with in the comments!

© Camille Williams and Wake Up, Mama! 2015

7 thoughts on “The One Thing I Want for My Children’s Lives

  1. Melissa R says:

    LOVE this. LOVE 🙂
    I looked back to see what I had written on Ian’s questionnaire. I figured it was about the same thing as what you wrote. Boy, was I surprised! Here’s what I said, along with one other of the questions of interest:
    -What do you want for your child’s life?
    To not be at a desk in a brick building for the rest of his life, and not to be labeled.
    -What interests you about Harmony Woods Earth Kids?
    Friends, Fun and FREEDOM! Getting out and DOING.

    I hope Earth Kids turns out to be everything you hope for.
    And good luck on your blog, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alison says:

    I love this so much Camille. I honestly don’t know how to answer that question with more beauty and truth than you provided. I love how you are coming back to it to get past those moments quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Camille,

    Now that I have decided (or at least I think I have) to homeschool our 7 year old (8 in July). I have no idea where to start. I Googled homeschool groups in our area and got taken to ones in Atlanta. I truly don’t want to drive an hour to take him to a homeschool group. Is there an easy way to find other homeschoolers….and what about curriculum. Can you give me some direction? I love that you found this for your son. I am thinking 4-H for mine. I need to find some great outlets for him and keep him off the screens as much as possible. This would be one place that given something similar my son would love to do…and how healthy for them.

    Leah

    Like

    • Hi Leah, 4H sounds awesome.
      For curriculum: I am probably going to use this next year:
      http://www.movingbeyondthepage.com and Singapore for math. I have also heard good things about Math U See and Life of Fred (although I have heard you need to supplement with something else with Life of Fred).
      I have also been looking at this for Language Arts which is highly recommended by several friends:
      http://www.rfwp.com/pages/michael-clay-thompson/
      And here’s a great source for curriculum reviews:
      http://cathyduffyreviews.com
      I’m not sure where in Georgia you are, but you might have better luck finding homeschool groups on Facebook instead of googling to find them. I typed in Georgia and there were a bunch–not sure how close they are to you, though!

      Like

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