When the children were six I had them memorize ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost. That Christmas they proudly recited it to my mum and brother, who had tears in their eyes. My dad had just died and this was our first Christmas without him. This is my most favourite poem of all, and is so poignant for me.
Home-schooling our children is a choice. By definition when one path is chosen, another is not. On the one side this means that the negative consequences of the ‘road not taken’ are avoided, and the positive ones of the chosen road are enjoyed. On the other side, the beauties of that first road are also missed whilst the bramble of the second are experienced in full force.
One can not travel both roads. Home schooling is ‘the road less travelled’. And that scares me. I am passionate about home schooling. My passion knows few limits. I work incredibly hard and I play incredibly hard (with my children). And I lean on God as if my life depends on it. Yet there is always a nagging feeling that I am experimenting with my children’s future. This ‘road less travelled’ offers no promises, no definitive career path for these children I love so much. Yet there is an excitement that comes from following our hearts, from discovering the treasures to be found along the way. And this helps me to carry on, even when I feel so unsure myself.
I am often asked what we will do about exams, will the children go to university? But I have no answers. You see, for us this road does not follow familiar and comfortable scenery. I simply don’t know what will be around the next bend, under the next bush, across the next stream. In response to this question I always hesitate and this is ultimately taken as a sign I have no goals, no dreams for my children’s future. These people are right. How can I dream about a horizon I have not yet seen? Do I even have the right to dream dreams for these wonderfully unique little beings. I have no answers.
So I push forward, enjoying the small wonders of each day; the special relationships which grow all the closer with every passing hour; the clambering over hurdles we don’t know how to handle- yet we do so holding each other’s hands. Together.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and we-
We took the one less travelled by
And that has made all the difference