How Did I Get Here?

By Joanna Martel


I have heard movement in the house and am sure the kids are in various states of dress, feeding, and  distraction, and I am searching for at least one matching pair of shoes. The cat came in and has curled up on the bed, just where I want to be. Ha! I found one of my favorite loafers, this might be a good day. Asking myself where my other shoe is leads me to wonder where the school stuff is, and I wonder… how did I get here? I am not sure how many cups of coffee I need or even what we had for dinner yesterday. But I know that I graduated once and that I am an adult (though I feel like throwing a tantrum of my own at the moment). At times like these you say to yourself, ”I have a brain!” (though that may be lost now with my shoe).


Coming down the stairs through a gauntlet of Lego bombs, half folded (clean?) laundry, and letters marked “Important,” I find the teenager has not made an appearance (again) and the ten year-old, trying to be helpful, made pancakes. Are those pancakes, or did the kitchen just explode? The only one who looks like they are trying to do schoolwork is the toddler who seems to be measuring cups of flour out of the pantry and seeing if they will balance on the back of the dog.


I ask myself, “the decision to do this homeschooling thing was the right one, right?” It seemed so at the time. I mean, I am now the sole overseer of the education of these kids whom, I must admit, I sometimes love the most when I see them immobile and asleep in the middle of the night.


So how did I get to the point of being the head teacher in this one house school? Over my first of many cups of coffee, and the smoke alarm telling me my pancakes were ready, I made a mental list:

  1. I did this because I love them.
  2. I did this because I want to see them thrive.
  3. I did this because I want them to see God’s worldview.
  4. I did this because I want quality time with them.
  5. I did this because I want them to have the freedom to learn.  

Nope that was not right. I tried again: 

  1. We do this because we love each other.
  2. We do this because it gives us ALL opportunity to thrive and be more.
  3. We do this because God needs time to show us that He is in our world.
  4. We do this because we like each other and have fun together.
  5. We do this because lifelong learning habits come from enjoying learning in the first place. 

Ah, yes… you and I are not in this place because we got stuck here or took a wrong turn. WE are here,  DOING what we were called to do. It may not be pretty, and at times things may go off kilter (of course that could be because I only have one shoe on). But at least we are in this together because we thrive  and grow best together. Happy HOME-schooling!


Joanna and her family are veterans of 13 years of homeschooling and many happy and challenging times  of raising four amazing lifelong learners. She now runs Martel Learning Group in order to support  educational entrepreneurial projects through project management while pursuing a Doctor of Education from Northeastern University.