September always feels like a beginning even though we homeschool all year round (there’s no beginning or end to our learning and we’re eclectic in our approach—life learning, unschooling, project based). Maybe it’s because everyone else is going back to school and we soak up some of that excited-to-get-going-again energy. Or maybe it’s from having spent years in school myself, so I’m conditioned to have fall feel like a fresh start.
Whatever it is, I find myself energized and focused at this time of year–wanting to start making, knitting, sewing, writing the next book, learning in ways I haven’t been over the summer. (So much of the summer months are spent outside going, doing, exploring, playing—ways of living and learning that slow down as the weather cools.) I feel this cycle every year, and this year is no different.
So I’ve been spending my time over the past week clearing out space for more project work, helping the kids find projects they want to work on, learning what excites them right now at this moment, planning all the ways I can support their interests. Each of them, like me, is a work in progress—something I’m hoping they’ll spend the rest of their lives being. And each of them, like me, has interests that ebb and flow. It’s natural.
I’m a big believer in not forcing learning (because if it’s forced, how much is really learned?) but going with interests. I’ve kinda built my life on this concept, following my interests, seeing where my life leads me. There’s a deep feeling of content when your life is a mosaic of your passions. It takes work—hard work—and compromises. Of course, once you realize/figure out what’s really important to YOU, those compromises don’t feel like a compromise. They feel like a choice. One that you make willingly, wholeheartedly because it’s helping you work toward what you really want, what is deeply important to you.
More than anything they’re doing, I hope my kids learn this lesson from our life, our choices, our ways of doing things. And that they spend their lives feeding their passions, doing work that is meaningful to them, and finding their own new beginnings every year.