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Freaking out about the school year? I have an idea …

Blog · Your Family · Your Relationships


2020 is every over-planners worst nightmare.

There are so many new “rules” and they’re changing everyday.  There are so many variables with planning the year. Will school be open? How many days? Will I need to go back to the office? What happens if they have to stay home? Will I have to keep working? Will I be able to keep working? Will I gain 50 pounds from emotional eating and become an alcoholic while my children get brainwashed by video games and My Little Ponies and become pawns in the Patriarchal agenda!?

Who. knows.

But there’s a trap I see so many people falling into …

Waiting for permission and waiting for direction.

This “waiting for permission” or “waiting for direction” is a side effect of living in a Patriarchal society, that brainwashes us to blindly follow the loudest voice of power whether or not we truly agree.

Maybe you’re thinking, “But if I do something different, then I’ll be reckless and selfish.”

That’s exactly what Patriarchal brainwashing has trained you to believe, that without “authority” that you’ll do something stupid. That you can’t be trusted.

The truth is that your heart and spirit are infinitely creative, thoughtful and know how to find a win-win of your needs and others. Your heart is smart and caring.

When we operate from this paradigm of “waiting for permission”, we lose the ability to think creatively and figure out what’s going to work best for you, your family and your community.

Instead of blindly following directions, I invite you to think creatively.

When we think creatively, we aren’t acting unconsciously. We are sitting with all of our options, tuning into our intuition and then making a thoughtful decision. This decision could still be in line with the loudest voice of power, but when you are acting in choice, you feel more confident and calm in your daily life.

It’s so important to notice where you are blindly following direction in all areas of your life and take some time to instead, go into creative thinking.

One place you could choose to think creatively in making plans for your school year if you have kids.

First, it’s important to assess your needs.

Money to pay for:

Food

Water

Shelter

Heat

How much does that currently cost? What does each member of the family have to do in order to have their needs met?

Many families will assess their needs and still see that both parents need to work full time and their children need a free, full time education. When this is the case, and your school system is talking about only being open part time if not at all, then the work turns towards changing the system (there is currently a Child Care for Working Families Act so “low-income parents won’t have to pay an exorbitant amount for childcare, double the number of children eligible for child care programs, incentivize states to create high quality programs and improve compensation and training for the child care workforce”) and asking for help from family members, friends and employers.

I personally believe that the fact that there’s even a question about opening school full time shows our cultural assumption that women should just be able to add full time child care to their already full plates without batting an eye. But that’s not the subject of this email …

Maybe you fall into the camp that your needs are easily met but you still aren’t thinking creatively about next year. This is because we are trained to not think for ourselves, but starting today, you know better.

You can totally wait and just see what happens with school next year and make plans based on what the final guidelines are, OR you can think creatively about how to make next year the best year ever.

Start with asking yourself:
“How can I get everyone’s needs met? Most importantly my own!”
“What would be the best possible situation?”
“What would make the school year even better than usual?”

Here are some ideas! You could …

  • Form a pod and take turns with other families supervising distance learning.
  • Homeschool
  • Hire a tutor
  • Hire babysitter
  • Move in with your parents
  • Have your 23 year old cousin move in with you and be in charge of the kids while he waits for job availability to start back up
  • Move to the woods
  • Unschool
  • Start a homeschool co-op …

And you don’t have to wait. You can make these plans now and can always change your mind later if school has a format that feels better than the plan you come up with.

I’ve seen a lot of people feel powerless. You are not powerless, you have so much more power and choices than you may currently believe.

There is no right way, just a right way for you. Get creative.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with making decisions and don’t feel equipped to take back your power, check out my new video “How to Step Confidently into the Rest of 2020”.

This is what we decided to do for next year.

When they started to talk about the guidelines for school in Massachusetts for next year – part time distance learning, no touching in school, masks etc. I knew that this wasn’t going to support my kids thriving. I find that a lot of time on computers just creates behavioral issues and doesn’t inspire learning in them.

On a whim I picked up the book “Call of the Wild + Free” by Ainsley Arment about homeschooling. She wrote about “wonder”, kids spending all day outside and finding their own sense of wildness and creativity. Every page is now wrinkled by the tears that fell in my knowing that this is something I craved for my children. I think I’ve craved it all along, but never I was blindly following directions of what I “should” do.

Jonathan and I both come from families where education is top priority. We were encouraged to be the top of our classes and get into the best colleges. Going rogue in this area felt BIG. Like we were breaking all sorts of rules.

But somehow, this gave us permission to think outside the box, and we teamed up with another family, my parents are going to be guest teachers, we hired a tutor and we’re starting to plan out the curriculum for next year.

Most importantly, I’m thinking creatively about what and how I want my kids to learn. The thing I’m most excited about is creating ways to reclaim our ancestral practices and deepen our sacred connection to the land and nature. So you’ll be seeing a lot more photos of candle making and land offerings from me!

We don’t know how long we’re going to do it, but we’re committed to the year and are open to the unknown.

So on this Moonday, I invite you to think creatively. Sit down with your journal and ask yourself these questions about any area of your life:

“How can I get everyone’s needs met? Most importantly my own!”
“What would be the best possible situation?”
“What would make the school year even better than usual?”

Sure, you may end up exactly where you are now, but the journey of going into the unknown is riddled with insight and magic you wouldn’t have otherwise discovered.


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