Brave Writer, Homeschooling

Be Kind, Be Gentle: Thoughts on a Gracious Space by Julie Bogart

This spring I have been reading, A Gracious Space: Spring Edition by Julie Bogart. This book is a collection of daily thoughts and encouragement for homeschooling moms.

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The spring edition is specifically written to help moms “finish strong” at that time of the year when we are very ready to be DONE!

Julie also uses this spring edition to encourage outdoor adventuring and other activities that feel”off task”.  She gently reminds moms that “off task” can actually be ON task and should be taken advantage of in the spring.

Springtime encouragement for homeschool moms from A Gracious Space.

The first week I was reading, “Day 2: Be Kind, Be Gentle” and it gave me a lot to think about. Julie writes, “Be warned: A habit of hardness leaves lasting scars.

Too often, especially in the early years of homeschooling, I was over zealous in my demands on my children. “After all”, I thought, “if they were in school they wouldn’t be allowed to act like this.”  Or they would have to complete this without whining.   Or they would have to sit still.   Or not eat a snack right now.  Or whatever particular thing about being home instead of school was bothering me.

The reality, though, is that they aren’t in school. They are at home. With me.

And they will act differently and so will I.   My kids could easily turn that statement around and let me know, “You would not treat your students in school like this.”

And many times, they would be correct.

The homeschool is not a reproduction of the classroom.  Accepting this fact more and more each day has allowed me to embrace the beauty of “letting it go”.

On page 14, Julie says:

Today I want to say: Shhhhhhhh.

Let it go.

Let your children be children.  Let your teens struggle to emerge.  Let yourself off the hook.

You don’t owe the world a model family.  You don’t have to get it right.  Neither do your kids.  Everyone gets better at growing up over time – including you, the parent.

Be the one who stands for kindness in your family.  Be remembered for your gentleness.  Wait an extra hour before acting and reacting.

Yes.  This resonates with my heart.

Be remembered for your gentleness.

If you know me, you know that gentle is probably not a word that appears high on anyone’s list of my strengths.  It is even further from the top when it comes to conflict with my children.

This was a great reminder for me as we finish up our homeschool year.  I don’t owe the world, or even myself, a model family.  I don’t have to get it right.  And I can take that extra hour, or even 15 minutes, before I act or react.

Today I hope to be remembered for gentleness.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Bronwyn June 4, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I love this post, certainly something I struggle with. Your words are encouraging!

  • Reply Amy @ Hope Is the Word July 20, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Beautiful, Mary (and Julie). <3

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