My neighbor and I stood on the front lawn with a clear line of divide, for their yard mowed neatly, while mine resembled more of a shaggy haircut. We talked of quarantine, corona and homeschooling. We had been homeschooling for a couple years now so only a few things had changed for us. But for them to have the kids at home 24/7 and still have work to complete, they asked, “how do you do homeschooling?” One of the best resources I have found during 2020 is Kathleen Pelley with Journey with Story podcast. Her values lines so much up with mine as we continue our story around the table playing Dungeons and Dragons.
First of all, for those of you who would like to know: there is a big difference between homeschooling and crisis schooling. Crisis schooling occurs when all the parks are shut down, the libraries close, people stay 6 feet apart, masked up and every news outlet warns you to stay home, stay safe. Homeschooling means you can go on field trips to the bee farm, spend a day playing with your friends, visit Barnes and Nobles for a coffee (for mom or dad) and inspiration from books as you plan your next research project. I like homeschooling.
However, during this time, my kids and I have played a lot more Dungeons and Dragons. What I love about this game is that by using our words, we each paint a picture in each other’s minds. The emotions and reactions we evoke in each other by describing the alien multi-eyed slug slithering through the bedroom during the night, or the hellish inferno blazing with white hot heat, crisping up the curtains in the mansion prove to me that storytelling is one of the best mediums to convey ideas.
Storytelling simultaneously invites and challenges you into and from within a narrative. With description of archetypal characters (I call them sojourners!), you feel the tug to land yourself in the character’s journey reflecting on your own. By understanding the conflicts in the story world from a 30,000 ft view, you are then challenged to solve them from many perspectives, and exercise that requires skill. All the while, your own perspective is melded into the narrative like a patch is sewn onto a magnificent quilt.
Part of our homeschooling curriculum includes listening to stories, often times during chores, while eating pancakes at the table or simple sitting a moment on the couch, lost in the tale. Please take a moment to listen to Journey with Story Podcast. Kathleen shares with a beautiful tone that invites children to sit a moment and practice listening. My kids drop to silence upon hearing her voice.
So, if you are searching for homeschooling or storytelling resources, please check out her podcast, books and webpage. I love promoting creative work and supporting it as well!
No matter where you are at today in your parenting or schooling time, please take the time to listen to a story today, find yourself invited to share and challenge to succeed.