Over these last seven years we've learned so very much. We've learned what works for us and what doesn't. We've learned who we can count on and who we can't. We've learned that this road is not without its challenges, but that those challenges help to make us an even stronger more connected family. Most importantly we've learned that there is no other path we'd rather be walking down.
We started living this lifestyle the moment Grace was born. Before we had any idea what it was we were doing, and before we knew that there were others that lived this way too. In all these years not too much has changed (though we clearly know what we are doing, and we now know other like minded families living this way too). We are still big believers in the use of daily (and monthly and seasonal) rhythms. We are still big believers in being deeply rooted in nature and the arts and in giving kids plenty of time to be kids and play and get messy. We are still big believers that they will do things when they are ready and not a moment sooner. And, most importantly, we are still big believers in the connectedness (and contentedness) that this lifestyle has blessed us with.
About the only thing that has changed is that each day the girls and I sit down and do a little something. Oftentimes it comes out of one of our Oak Meadow books, other times it's something that we came up with on our own (a game, a project, an experiment). This became part of our daily rhythm because Grace was looking for a little something more. She came to us one evening last autumn and asked for help learning to read and learning "the big numbers" (meaning anything greater than ten). It was then that we added that little change into our day. It felt right because it was what she advocated for for herself rather than her having to do it because it was "time".
There are many people that have asked us about the future over the years. "How long will you do this for?" "What about college?" things like that. And all that we can say is that we will do this for as long as it feels right to all of us. When it comes to college we don't look that far down the road. Right now, as high as college tuition is, we couldn't afford a minute there let alone four years. Who knows what college will be like by the time the girls are ready to go. Will it even exists as we know it today? Will it even be necessary? And more importantly will it even be what they want? We won't know 'till we get there, friends, and until then I'm going to sit back and enjoy the ride. For those who take comfort in (and feel better with) statistics to back things up check out this handy little graphic that I have pinned to one of my boards on Pintrest.
And so in the morning when the kids in town are heading off for their first day of the new school year we'll be getting up and having our usual mellow morning. Chances are one of us will remark that the school buses are back on the road, but other than that nothing will be any different for us. We'll simply go about our day as we always do, full of wonder and joy at another day spent living, learning, laughing and loving together.