Thursday, June 14, 2018

Where they lead...

As parents, no matter the plans we have for our families and specifically each of our children, their ideas, talents and interests are their own and the more they are allowed to develop them and their own thinking the more we may find ourselves in unknown territory, assisting them in accessing the resources and training they need to explore and develop their own unique gifts and talents.

It is an adventure to see where our children, in the developing of their own unique gifts, might lead us as we explore, learn and enjoy the world together.

With our boys, providing for physical activity was always a priority, allowing for exploration and the opportunity to develop the physical skills they wanted to possess meant being outdoors and active; learning to ride tricycles, bicycles, skates, skateboards. It meant sports, organized and unorganized, golf courses, driving ranges and many summers at the baseball field; community sports, travel team sports, and athletic teams in the local public school.

Our daughter, our youngest, could have followed in their footsteps, and she did in a family backyard playground, kind of way. However, when it came time to participate in an organized activity, she declined. There are many girls in our community who play baseball and many who play softball, but apparently, she had had enough of running the bases. She was interested in dance and gymnastics. Her pursuit of gymnastics and invitations to join competitive teams led us to finding and her receiving excellent training. We traveled to regional and national competitions. She found one of her passions. She accomplished so much. She developed relationships with other dedicated girls who became her best friends. And then...

Change is inevitable and when our daughter chose to focus on dance training, we were in for another learning experience. So much to learn while following another potential passion; ballet, variations, modern, contemporary, and shoes, shoes, and more shoes, pointe, flat, jazz, and character shoes.

Ballet class leads to ballet performances and stage time, individually and as a group. Those performances lead to behind the scenes parent volunteer time and more learning opportunities for family members in unexpected places.

In homeschooling families, the learning of a particular subject matter often carries over to siblings as they watch and support one another. Her older brothers have attended (and actually enjoyed) more ballet performances then any of us would have ever anticpated.

The learning, thankfully never ends and based on our youngest's participation as a dancer, we are headed into another new experience this summer. The same daughter, on the verge of  becoming a young woman, will be attending a many week summer dance intensive, away from home! As a homeschooling family, (if you are one, you'll get this) we have very rarely even spent overnights away from each other. This is a wonderful opportunity, it is an exciting adventure, that puts her, as a student on her path to independence, a little sooner than we might have predicted. We are headed, once again, into uncharted territory. For her, a summer of new and advanced training, a summer of hard work and learning away from family. For us, a summer with many days apart from our youngest, still a teen.

Wish me well as we hit the road, to take her to this exciting new adventure. I'll be coming back home to an almost "empty nest". I'll be coming back to work on some long neglected projects and passions of my own. There are so many, I won't know where to begin!

What unexpected learning, adventures and travel have your children led you to? Leave me some comments, I'm going to need the company!

A Round Up of Ideas for Summer

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