Bamboo trees & homeschooling 🌱

Do you know about Chinese Bamboo Trees? 

You must very carefully monitor their water & temperature for the first 5 years, and nothing happens. You have to water often and weed and make sure it stays at the perfect temperature… but you won’t see a single sprout. Not an ounce of visible growth. 

But in year 5, something crazy happens. 

Within 6 weeks, the tree grows 80 feet tall. 

Turns out, during the first 5 years, a deep, vast, root system was growing beneath the surface. You just couldn’t see it. 

The early years of homeschooling are like this.

When you have little ones at home, the day in and day out is not full of fruitfulness. 

  • Wake up (maybe to crying)
  • Make breakfast
  • Clean breakfast 
  • Clean up a spill 
  • Remind children to share nicely
  • Potty train 
  • Clean up a potty accident
  • More laundry 
  • Read a book 
  • How is it time for second breakfast?! 
  • Make and clean up second breakfast 
  • More potty accidents and laundry
  • Spend 30 min getting everyone ready to leave. 
  • Grocery shop or library story time
  • Remind children not to touch every single surface in a public restroom for the 1,836th time.
  • Go home
  • Unload books or groceries
  • Make and clean up lunch
  • Nap time!   
  • Afternoon- should we read again? Play? What are we even doing? 
  • Panic & download a themed letter of the week preschool because you’re afraid you’ll fail as a homeschool mom and your kids will be behind. (Haha, maybe that’s just what I did!)

After 6 years of homeschooling and watching all 4 of our kids thrive in their early years at home, I can pass on to you what many-a-veteran homeschool mama told me when I was so worried about those years at home…. It all counts. 

The passing conversations, the play, the pretend make believe, the walks around the neighborhood where you notice a butterfly or worm, the trips to the grocery store, the stories on the couch “again and again.” 

These years are full of planting seeds and nourishing a deep & vast (but often unseen) root system. You might not see sprouts, fruit, or even a glimpse of a bamboo shoot. 

But it’s coming. The fruit is coming. Keep weeding, watering, and waiting. 

The tree will shoot up! 

Your 8 year old will learn to read and help make dinner cheerfully. 

Your 10 year old will buckle a baby in the car and pour your coffee for you. 

Your kids will know that you chose them. You chose to serve them day in and day out. You chose to read the books and listen to all their why questions.

They’ll know that you will listen to yet another riddle they wrote or come see a project they made.

They’ll entertain themselves for hours on end with creating and play because they know how to pursue an interest, study for themselves, learn something new. Learning won’t be lame or boring. 

Listen, there are no perfect moms, no perfect homeschools, no perfect kids. 

But this life you’re choosing- it’s full of potential!! The bamboo seeds will shoot up. 

And if every older mom who says “it goes so fast” is telling the truth, it’s going to be be sooner than you think.

Keep watering & tending the precious soil of your kids’ hearts. 

Educating with home at the center affords you so much time and freedom. Enjoy your kids, follow the rabbit trails of their curiosity, make a snack and read a pile of books, adventure in your community together, send them out to play.

And stop beating yourself up about what you’re not getting done. Commit your plans to the Lord and your work will be established. (Proverbs 16:3) 

Let God guide your path, show up faithfully each day dying to self, and trust Jesus with the outcomes!