Or lack of it, thereof.

Aspiring to a Charlotte Mason education can be, at times, a heavy load in your heart and mind. It should not be the case, but it is. She reiterates that, to the children, the best only, and she opens a broad world to you that, once you have glanced at it, you can't take away your eyes from.

Homeschooling is hard to me. Doing it the Charlotte Mason way adds to the difficulty.

Why is it so hard? Why do I make it hard?

Because there is a lack of heritage in my life that I am trying to construct at the same time I am trying to pass it on to my girls.

What am I talking about?

Many little things that I am sure you do not perceive. Because you may not know how I was raised up. But don't worry, I have already written the post in my mind and it has a happy ending.

My lack of heritage:

  • I never had a parent who read anything to me.
  • I never had a mom who cooked with me or did any craft or project with me.
  • My mom never arranged anything for my friends and my siblings or me.
  • I was never sang songs, or told stories as I grew up.
  • My parents are not christians, they did not read the Scritpures, or pray, or took me to services, or showed any desire to be Christ like. 
  • We were not taken to hikes or outdoors apart from going to my uncle's country house, days that I remember and cherish enormously.
  • We had no family tradition whatsoever.
  • My childhood was not a happy one. I finally have come to an understanding of this.
  • I never slept or napped with my parents, or hugged nor kissed much.
  • We never ate dinner or lunch as a family.
  • Our vacation and get together with friends were always a potential source of embarrassment.
  • My mother was absent from my teen and early adulthood years because of a personal decision.
  • My parents never played any instrument, or valued music, or engaged us or themselves in any activity such as visiting a museum, enjoying different places, having a pacific conversation, etc.
  • My family does not understand what homeschooling is. They do not oppose it or find any problem at all with the girls. They think I can do this because I am a former public school teacher. Sigh.
I can get carried away and make this list seriously and uselessly long. That's silly, because I love my parents. I don't need to trash them publicly either. They have meant so much for me, even in the midst of problems. I was not an ideal child either, though they'd tell you I was and I still am :)

With time, things in my family have gotten better. My parents tolerate each other now. My siblings, a sister and a brother, though not very close to me, they are good daughter and son, they are there for my parents, and for me. They both adore my girls. They are good people. I truly wish I had grown up closer to them. I also live miles and miles away from all of them. That is not easy. Not only the fact I'm so far from my parents and family, but the fact that, even if I lived close to them, I'd still be miles and miles away from who they are.

However, my mom almost died two weeks ago, and it is not a pleasant feeling. We talk on the phone and it is nice. I tell her about my life, the things we do, and she is happy because we are a happy family. My suffering is her repressed suffering, not being able to see my two little fairies.

This is why homeschooling for me is hard. This is why homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way is such a challenge.

But, flip the coin and you see me so blessed, and enjoying life with all my heart. We are not lost at developing and nurturing that Heritage in our family.

  • We speak two beautiful languages in my home. I'm grateful for it. The girls enjoy this much.
  • We are christians, and the girls love their Creator and His Word, even more than we. They already know the difference between living a christian life, and paying lip service.
  • They know prayer, understand gratitude, enjoy fellowship.
  • They are growing with a mom who reads to them lots, and a dad who works with them in the garden, plays with them, is involved. Always.
  • We hug and kiss TONS.
  • We have family traditions. For example, we always do the shopping together, every Friday.
  • We go camping together. They have pictures of special moments, videos, letters...
  • I am always doing something with the girls and their friends.
  • I not only homeschool them, but I do it inspired by CHARLOTTE MASON. And this is wonderful! (If I let go of the feelings of impotence and frustration for the lack of heritage I have, and focus on the blessings and the privilege that it is to enjoy a Charlotte Mason education, not only them, but all of us as a family.)

Today I know I am burnt out. I keep saying and thinking I need a period of rest, for the mind and body, but I insist in clinging to the buzz and noise, trying to find the inspiration outside instead of within. I will get there, I know what to do.

But I also have much HOPE. Once this period of feeling internally exhausted passes, of trying to save face instead of enjoying the waves of life, I know I will come back to the rest that Christ gives to the weary, and be once more inspired and maybe inspire others in return.

20 opinion(s):

Lisa said...

I love this, dear Silvia. You have taken the bad memories of your childhood and used them for good in your children's lives. You did learn from your parents: you learned what NOT to do. Your children are greatly blessed to have you as their mama. :)
Much love to you!

Silvia said...

Thank you Lisa. I appreciate your words very much.

Sarah said...

Dear Silvia, it must of been difficult to write these feelings. I'm reminded of that scripture about how God restores what the locusts have eaten. You are creating a heritage, making a new stand for your family and the next generations. What you are doing for your children is Christ like! xxx

Maria Calderón said...

Silvia, cuánto te agradezco que hayas puesto palabras a lo que veo que en mi vida ha sido igual. Veo muchas similitudes en cuanto a lo que ha sido, pero aún debo crear lo que será, porque siento que en eso cojeamos como familia todavía.

Me ha encantado esta entrada.

Me alegra que tu madre vaya mejor.


Silvia said...

Sarah. You may never know how your constant comments have uplifted me this past year... unless I tell you, :)

You are such a sweet friend. What a joy every time I find your words in my posts.

Yes, it was a challenge to write this. I do not want to be disrespectful to my family, but I cannot pretend this is easy. If I do not remember where I come from, it will always backfire me.

Homeschooling and some things in life are still difficult, not so much because the external opposition, it is the internal baggage, but speaking about it puts me in perspective. It does not have to be the same for my girls or for me, or for my husband. And it is alright if we don't improve in ALL that was not very nice for us in our childhood. I don't think the girls expect the perfect heritage, just a loving heritage will do.

I am very jealous to hear and read about those whose parents left them a legacy of faith, read aloud time, songs, play, conversations, meals together, traditions... But then I stop being jealous and I rejoice with them, and learn from them.

It helps me to remember we have some of that which I admire, going on for us now, and if I did not have it as a child, I can as a grown up have the joy and honor of doing some of all these nice things with the girls.

Silvia said...

Nosotros cojeamos mucho, quiza siempre cojeemos, pero por intentarlo que no quede. Escribiendo lo que hacemos me di cuenta de cosas que, como me paso el tiempo mirando y leyendo lo que otros hacen, pues ni cuenta me doy que las hacemos...

Por ejemplo. Tu llevas a los ninios al parque a menudo, les lees, cocinas con ellos, los llevas a clases (mis padres me apuntaban a cosas, luego ni me llevaban ni se preocupaban ni preguntaban como me iba... claro que al menos no tuve la presion de los padres helicoptero ni se lo que es el miedo a fracasar en un intento de algo. Ves? por ese punto siempre hay algo positivo aun de lo mas negativo).

La cuestion es que empezamos no de cero, sino de bajo minimos en muchisimas cosas. Pero mi receta es tratar de recordar por que es dificil o por que me siento abatida por momentos, saber que no tiene por que ser igual, y tener fe de que nuestros hijos tendran una herencia amorosa.

Animos y escribe, siquiera mentalmente, todo lo que haceis ahora que nunca tuviste tu o incluso tu marido, y veras como no cojeas tanto como piensas, je je je.

Zoozees said...

OHHH, my sweet friend, I just read this and let me tell that you made me cry!...How wonderfull has been God in your life...he has been shaping you, no matter your past, and you and your hubby finally achieved this amazing family.
Every thing you do is so lovely, even those family traditions to the market...how funny sounded it, but its so true. Something so simple and boring for most of the people can be such a precious moment when you know how to enjoy life.

Your parents must be such a good people, even if they don't think like you do, because they couldn't have a girl like you. God has blessed them with you. They know it...and that is enough now.
I'm so glad your mom talked with you already.

I loved what Sarah have told you about the restauration of the Lord...He is always doing this in us if we allow him to do it.
Your writing , for me, is a reminder of that.

Thank you Silvita!
big hug...

Silvia said...

You make move me too with your words. I feel so loved, that all the not great times of the past seem insignificant. It is what we are today and what we leave to the children for tomorrow what counts.

LOL... yes, it may be boring for others, but for us it is fun, and I think it may give the girls some good insight for when they have their own home.

Yes, my parents are good people, but you know, I have friends whose parents, sad to say but a reality, were or are not good people, yet they are, because God calls us, and when we hear Him calling we are all free and capable to answer to it in obedience, love, and faith.

You are welcome, friend. Thanks to you, also, who always brighten my day and cheer me in my journey.

Silvia said...

Sorry, I was going to type you make me cry, and then I changed it for you move me, and it got messed up!

Zoozees said...

I've got it ,don't worry,he,

Yes, you're right, sometimes parents are not so great, and God liberates their kids anyway...
thank you ,too ;).

Ellen, the Bluestocking Belle said...

What a wonderful, heartfelt, and insightful post, Silvia. I love how you are creating a different kind of childhood for your daughters than you experienced. I also loved reading of how you are able to see beyond the limitations of your own experiences and still create something new and beautiful for your family. It's often difficult and painful to take the pieces of the past and all we have of today and put them together into something better.

Silvia said...

Thanks for your comment, Ellen.

I never knew how much my life, our life, is one of veering the direction we were heading in our childhood and early adulthood. Sometimes it tires me, it makes me feel a bit of a pretender in this new and different life we aspire to have with the girls, LOL. Other times I feel kind of in a ship, covering holes and trying hard not to sink. But others I realize how nice a trip it is, in our own peculiar vessel, and I have faith our girls will treasure different parts of their journey with us once they leave.

Michelle said...


How wonderful that you recognize what you lacked and seek to give your children more! Heritage. What a good topic. You've inspired me...

Silvia said...

I'm glad I did. Take care, Michelle. Enjoy your summer.

Jeanne said...

Today I will appreciate my own heritage all the more because of your post. Thank you for being brave enough to write this. Your intentional parenting will be such a blessing to your girls - one that you will reap from as well. I am glad. Be happy, my friend.

Silvia said...

Jeanne. I thought much about you when I wrote this. I have known about your beautiful heritage through your words, and I truly rejoice with you every time you share it with us.

I am glad if I have made you appreciate it today all the more. I was also able to appreciate my riches when you wrote from your vacation. Your post about your 'needs and wants' was one of those writings I should read often, or have present often, for I tend to complain for silly things when I should be singing praises day and night.

It may be something not that unusual to have a rich heritage, but I wanted to say that it is very common to lack of one too and to wish to have one. What matters is what we do now, and how we appreciate and preserve what we have been given, or in the other case scenario, that we learn and work to be the first ones to leave a spiritual and emotional legacy to our children.

I also wanted to say that to aspire to a CM education coming from an education and upbringing that was nothing like it is not only desirable, but possible. It may be hard at times because we feel at a disadvantage, but it should not be.

I think about Japanese people, the poorest man, the least important worker, all of them appreciate beauty. They wrap their presents exquisitely. They all welcome the spring with the flowers for the pleasure and joy of looking at them... The same with CM. No matter how elitist she may appear, she was a person that shared and thought what she had could be in possession of anyone who so desired.

It is not about how much knowledge we get or how high our children score or what we or they achieve in this life, it is more about getting an education, and ultimately, inheriting that Heritage for anyone who wants It, that leads to eternal life.

Thanks for your cheers. I take them to heart. I am very happy and very very blessed.


Charlotte Mason in the City said...

Dear Silvia,

You have my sympathy for the loss of your mother. I lost my father a few years ago and I do understand completely the feeling of repressed suffering. If it gives you any hope, I have found that my relationship with my father GREW even after he passed away. The quietness of his absence allowed to see him in a new way, over time, and I'm grateful for this new development in our relationship, even if he isn't actually here to enjoy it with me.

I also want to say that we are all children in God's eyes. You write you are constructing a heritage at the same time you are passing it along to your daughters. It's okay for us to start from scratch and learn along with our children, as we are children too.

I wish for you a time to grieve and then renew. This is a passage of time, and when it ends, you're going to be an even stronger person. I think of grief and struggles as similar to being in labor when giving birth. You have to go through the pain and difficulties, but look how we change because of it.

Pam... said...

I missed this post. I kept thinking, I haven't heard from my friend Silvia in quite awhile. Sorry. Here you were, being real and opening your heart and I missed it.

God does rebuild. He takes our ashes, mourning, heaviness and transforms it to beauty, the oil of joy, and the garment of praise. (I too have parents that never showed affection, or liked me. They loved, but from a distance and continue to do this. But as you stated, they also are good people and very worthy!)

You are such a wonderful, loving mom. I would love to grow up in your home! Sometimes we are challenged by our grief and longings so much, that we become better because of it. You are doing that. Overcomers. We set a new standard. Other people become bitter, but not you. Praise God. I am so proud of you!

Yes, by all means, take a sabbatical, rest and play and relax and rejuvenate. We all need that. Our families need us to do that too. God bless, friend.

Say, was I right about that book I recommended about Spain? Did you think it was worthy? Just wondering.

Patti said...

Your post was a tremendous inspiration to me! I wept as you shared your childhood - and rejoice to see the wonderful difference in your home now. We so often take things for granted. Even though I had a wonderful Christian upbringing, dying to the flesh and serving my family long days doesn't always come naturally, nor do I always have the wisdom I need... But we have an advocate with the Father and He has sent us the comforter to lead us into all truth so we take His hand and ask for His wisdom and take courage to go forward. Thanks for sharing! Blessings, Patti

Silvia said...

Patti, your words in this beautiful comment have inspired me in return! Thanks for the reminder and blessings to you too.


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