Nurturing Contentment: Embracing Family Togetherness in Home Education

By Leah Boden

Maya Angelou once said, “We need much less than we think we need,” and that sentiment holds profound relevance in the realm of home education.

As a mother who has spent the last 17 years deeply immersed in the dance of home education, I must confess – discontentment occasionally pays a visit. Not the kind that propelled Thomas Edison to bring light into the world, but a subtle, unwelcome presence that can stealthily sneak up on mothers. It lingers, particularly on days overshadowed by duties that threaten to obscure the delight we strive to infuse into our home education journey.

Perhaps, you’ve felt it too – that nagging discontent that intensifies with exhaustion or after spending a tad too much time online. The antidote? Connection with family. Discontentment withers when we draw close, laugh together, and share the simple joys of daily life.

In moments of weariness, my mind concocts elaborate lies, convincing me that I need more – more significance, more opportunities, a larger space in this world. It weaves a narrative that demoralizes my post-childbearing body and undermines the story it tells. Suddenly, even my home seems inadequate, and I feel less than what I perceive in the world around me.

Yet, deep down, I know it’s not true. In fact, I know that I have more than enough. All I need is right here, within the walls of my home, within the embrace of my family.

As my husband and I have journeyed through the years of home educating and raising our four children, I’ve come to recognize the treasure and the reward in what we’ve built. It’s about opening my eyes to the beauty right in front of me. With age (and a smidge of wisdom), I’ve become attuned to the subtle symptoms of discontentment but also to the signs that breathe contentment back into my day.

I need the frequent reminder that everything I need is within arm’s reach. It’s in the genuine smiles of my children, the warmth of the sun on my face, the aroma of some kind of dinner being pulled together in the kitchen, and the reassuring flick of pages as we work through our books for the day.

Contentment reveals itself in the delicate bloom of a wildflower after a cold winter, the melody of birdsong outside the window, and the simple, everyday tasks that fill my hands. It’s present in the breakthrough moments of a reluctant reader, the success of a science experiment, and the joyous laughter echoing through the house when friends are over.

I’m discovering that a tight squeeze from a toddler or a heartfelt text from a teenager declaring their love has the transformative power to dismantle discontentment. As I lean into these truths, I’m realizing that maybe the genuine secret of contentment lies in embracing simplicity.

In the words of Charlotte Mason, “All important things are simple.” So here’s to the art of family togetherness, the simplicity that brings contentment, and the everyday joys that make our home educating journey truly extraordinary.

Leah Boden is wife to Dave, mother to four children, and long-time home educator. With over two decades of experience in church leadership, Leah’s working background also featured many years in youth, children’s, and family work for her local LEA; she worked with children, and their families who were on the verge of exclusion from the school system.

Currently her life and education focuses on the practice and pedagogy of early 20th Century educator Charlotte Mason. Leah leads the Charlotte Mason Conversations, UK community as well as being the founder of Modern Miss Mason, an international initiative to help parents, and children find their freedom in the philosophy. She writes, speaks, podcasts, hosts coaching sessions, and runs workshops sharing the beauty of a Charlotte Mason approach to childhood, motherhood, and education.

Leah is signed with Tyndale Publishing and her book “Modern Miss Mason” launched in January 2023.

Find out more about Leah on her profile on the Mentoring page.

Become a Member

Sign up to free membership and...
Encouraging, equipping and connecting home educators
© 2024 Streams. All rights reserved.