I got the opportunity to read this fantastic blog about a homeschool theatre group, and I really loved hearing about all the things the kids and parents are learning together. Not only are they having fun and engaging in a creative activity, they are also learning responsibility, dedication, and hard work. The work didn’t end when the play did, either.
I felt a sudden sense of loss while reading this post, however. I grew up homeschooled, and I suddenly wondered why I never got to learn such great things in such a fantastic way. I feel compelled to add that acting/drama were never interests of mine growing up, but suddenly I felt like I had missed out on something so amazing.
My mom was available to chat, and I was getting ready to ask her something like, “Why didn’t we ever ….???” You know, cause that sounds so grown up and mature, right? A 20 something woman and mother, whining to her mom about years past?
I paused though, and realized suddenly that my mom gave me something similar. To be honest, for me, it was so much better than a drama club ever would have been. (No, wait, before you get offended… Drama club is GREAT, especially if that is you or your child’s interest!! I just wasn’t the drama club type as a kid…or even now.)
Mom put me in 4-H, where someone other than Mom had expectations for me. We always had a horse project going, as well as lamb projects, rabbits (one year), and judging. I loved being in 4-H, I loved showing, growing, and learning. And guess what? The hard work wasn’t over, even when the last show was finished. I learned to work with a team, to work independently, to be resourceful, to ask and answer questions, and to keep detailed records. I learned to take care of myself, and someone other than myself. I learned what it meant to depend on someone and to be depended on.
I learned to discern information for myself, question things that were out of place, and accept that rules must be followed. I learned to compete respectfully, to always get back on and try again, and to accept that not every opportunity ends successfully. I learned what success feels like and that one success isn’t an excuse to stop reaching for the next one.
I learned that people aren’t always fair, things don’t always end well, and our plans can be altered in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, I had to learn these things with a very sour ending to my 4-H career, one that wasn’t fair, or right. One that altered everything I thought I’d do with my life, changed the plans for my future, and made me angry at the world. That ending taught me just as much as all of the pleasant and enjoyable memories, and I am 1000 times better for the time I spent in 4-H.
So, maybe my mom didn’t give me drama club, but she did give me what I needed, in a way that I wanted it and learned best from. Now, on this side of life, as the grown up, as the mom, I hope and pray that I give my kids the same thing. I pray that I find that “thing” for each of them, and that they learn as much from their “thing” as I did from mine!