Wednesday, May 5, 2010

People mistakenly assume...

... that their thinking is done by their head; 
it is actually done by the heart 
which first dictates the conclusion, 
then commands the head to provide 
the reasoning that will defend it."

- Anthony de Mello 

via Whisky River (Thanks again to this most inspirational blog)

(Photo: Reflections. Taken for the C&C photo assignment that I forgot to post ...Ahem!)

The above quote pretty well sums up where I'm at in the proverbial a nutshell at the moment. You see there has finally been an uprising here at La Rivière. You may remember this post where I poured my heart out about the sadness of the French school system, and my ensuing désarroi...

Eh bien CA Y EST! In spite of my 'head's' better judgement and worries about how in goodness name I'm going to manage it all, let alone succeed in everything, I finally bit the bullet and formally announced my intention determination to homeschool the messmonsters (in light of having no better formal schooling option in a vicinity of 150 kilometres). Yup! All 3 of them.  As from September 2010. THIS YEAR! 

Did I mention that I am STILL going to 'launch' my new idea in a couple of weeks and go all the way through with it as well?  While still painting, reopening my wee shop and organising a couple of exhibitions? Am I intending to find time to eat or sleep? Hmmm - Not sure if the last two options will be feasible ;-)

Let's just say that, in a burst of pure FOLIE, Heart quarters overthrew Headquarters, is now staging a full on seige, and will continue to hold out until Headquarters caves in and comes up with the goods on 'how to pull it all off seamlessly and without a hitch.' 

So when Jamie Ridler asked today in her 'Wishcasting Wednesday,' "What rules do you wish to make or break?" I had to respond with this:

This is the first time in my life when I'm actually sort of 'breaking rules.' Up till my early 20s (well, late teens maybe) I was always a terrible goody two shoes, afraid of 'not being liked' and admonished if I did 'wrong.' France has been good for me in that way. This is a country where EVERYBODY bends or shatters the rules. NO ONE obeys rules here. Except for the school one that says 'thou child shall remain inside these school buildings from 9-5.30 when s/he will be released to go home to study for another hour at least.'

You may not find that shocking. I was a grade A student, finished my degree, was Student President and in the School Debating Team, musicals etc etc etc..... AND I DO!

So I'm BREAKING this one.   

Now I'm going to take a big deep breath and say, "It's been nice knowing you. I'm never going to find enough time to blog again." 

NoN! NON! 
That's not what I want to say at all!!

I want to say...

...THANK YOU FOR ALL THE SUPPORT YOU'VE SHOWN ME because your comments and shared concerns have been very influential in helping me make my decision.  

In the end though - it's just my messmonsters that seem sooooooo worth it!! 

Looking forward to catching up with you later in the week to share my 'other breath-taking news' and introduce you to two very inspirational women bloggers...



  1. Breaking the rules is so much more fun!:-) I am proud of you for following your heart. I can't wait to hear more about it and the reveal of your new idea too!!!!

  2. Oh My. Ange, you are definitely the bravest person I know. Good on you for making the choice that you believe is right for you and your children. You'll make it work.

  3. Brava! A decision well-reached. And I should *so* live in France so I can break rules with even more impunity. (I can say that now because my boys are at the end of their schooling -- in French Immersion no less! :)

  4. Good for you for standing up for what you believe!
    We're with you!

    As Ange wishes for herself, so do I also wish for her with all my heart!

  5. It sounds like you are on the precipice of an amazing journey. As Ange wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

  6. Well this gives my heart much joy! I do believe you will find that it isn't as hard as you think and you will actually have more time than you think. Once you've settled into homeschooling you will find a rythme that is so restful compared to the demands of the world outside your home. Once you've brought your children back home, you will see how schooling outside of it makes for a neverending busy lifestyle. You may actually be able to create while your kids are reading or working on their writing skills. Give yourself 6 mos to a year to get into that rythme...I know you are going to love this! I really, truly miss my days of was the sweetest time.

  7. Congratulations on your decision...I am quite sure that you are more than capable and up to the task! If anyone can make a go of would be you! Now, I think I must make that trip to France as it would be for medicinal purposes...more or see, I am still a goody two shoes. I need to break a few rules!

  8. Bold move! You go! Remember my rule (and no breaking it)- family first!

  9. A country where everyone bends or breaks rules... I don't know how I'd feel about that... probably very uncomfortable at first, but eventually it sounds like it might be liberating!

    As you wish for you... I wish for you too.

  10. Now doesn't that just feel so much better, once the decision has finally been made! That may have been the hardest part actually. You'll do well Ange, I know it. ~Lili

  11. Way to go Ange!! Your heart will win over your head and you will do it! I have no doubt. I will miss your posts and your witty commentaries, just as long as you promise not to make yourself a stranger. You will be missed! I'm so proud of you!

  12. Yay Ange! I think it's wonderful. Yes, you will be swamped with children and projects and on and on... But it will be worth it! Looking forward to hearing all about it!

  13. Bravo! Maybe you can learn how to blog in your sleep? (So at least you'll get some!) :> As Ange wishes for herself, so I wish for her as well.

  14. Good luck to you, I really admire you giving your children another option. Whatever the time cost and inconvenience, you are putting them first. That can never be wrong.

    Out of desparation comes innovation.

  15. Hey Ange
    Congratulations on your decision.. I totally agree about the heart leading the head.. some decisions just need to be that way.. especially when it is your precious children concerned.. You'll be great .. I just know it... You know I was a goody two shoes at school too .. [and sometimes still am] more through shyness i think.. but funny how people misinterpret it as something else... although these days more apt to speak my mind.. which doesn't bode well with some ppl.. but what the..[heck]... life's short!!

    Wish I could come and visit to further my education in Rebelling Against the Odss.. anyway.. very happy for your decision and look forward to your further good news my friend.. ciao ciao xxx Julie

  16. Can I be nervous and scared and excited for you - all at the same time? Making the decision was probably the hardest thing, and now you'll make it the right one I know. xx

  17. I bet it feels fantastic to be a rule-breaker doesn't it? Glad you've made a decision, I'm sure it's the right one for you, and really really impressed with all your projects :):)

  18. I'm sure you're up for the challenge! Love today's shot

  19. ~breaking the rules and for such a wonderful reason! as Ange wishes for herself so i wish greatly for her you start this new journey may you always remain open minded, patient and willing to embrace all the new that is about to happen and come with teaching...not only lessons for yours but also for you...its a great journey and i know you will be a superior guide for your messmonsters...if ever you need help...i will try my best to offer a hand...warm wishes and brightest blessings~

  20. GOOD FOR YOU! Standing up for your little ones and doing what is right for them and you.
    You are an inspiration to young Mothers and older Mothers as well.

  21. Hurrah for you, Ange! I think that as past of their home study, your messmonsters should have a blog each where they write about what they are learning and what interests them. You can be Chief Commentator instead of teacher.

  22. sometimes challenge is what makes us rock our best work.
    im sure it will all fall into perfect place.

  23. that sounds like it feels good - brava bellissima!!

  24. bravo!! it won't be that hard once you get in the groove and keeping a consistent schedule will give you time for you! I think it is brilliant! congrats on being such a maverick!!

  25. Hey Ange,

    You go girl!
    I am sure you'll succeed qnd will be here to cheer you and support you!
    If you need help with anything for your homeschooling project, please do not hesitate.
    also I wanted to tell you:
    Thank you again my dear friend for being such an inspiration to me.That quote so summs up where I'm at as well... ;-) Will give you an update by email.
    Love to you and all three messmonsters!

  26. What an incredibly brave person you are, that is one BIG task you are taking on. I agree that the heart is behind our thinking and this is a perfect example. The huge love for your darling wee monsters makes it unthinkable to do less for them. You are a STAR doing this for them. Everyone in blogland is cheering for you. xx

  27. So much excitement and bravery and energy in this post! Good luck with it all--it sounds wonderful!

    As Ange wishes for herself, so I wish for her as well.

  28. You'll do wonderfully well. I homeschool both my kids and I love it, although there are days when I want to pull my hair out. But still... So very rewarding and you get to teach them what you want and focus on what you deem important. Good luck, and if you need anything from the U.S. Where homeschooling is very popular, let me know and I will send it to you.

    Love and hugs!

  29. Congratulations!
    As Ange wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

  30. dearest Ange,
    I bow to you
    my heart first
    and then my head
    you are an AMAZING woman!
    I wish that you find other amazing parents to partake in the home schooling and that all your visions, dreams and desires that you wish to manifest are done so with grace.
    heart felt support,

  31. Holy smokes girlfriend!!!
    I guess there will be no more FB convo's because you'll be to busy.
    I think you have to do what you have to do...
    and you will be amazing.

  32. Well done! brava! feliciations! This is a BIG decision but I'm willing to lay a bet that you'll make it a MAJOR success. Went back and read your March post about the French education system. Everything you say is true - maybe I should have done what you're about to do. Let's face it you have more guts than me! I think you'll be alternating champagne and prozac in the coming year, but hey! so what! all in a good cause, the best cause actually!
    And as for not having time to blog, it's just a question of priorities - sleep is highly over-rated!!
    Bon weekend

  33. I've always been very anti-Home Schooling dear Ange as it seems to be a bastion for Fundamentalist Christians or Unwashed Hippies trying to prove something to the world at the expense of their kids. As you don't fall into either of these categories, I may have to temper my feelings here, & MOTH would say that would be a truly remarkable thing! Love & support in your endeavours.
    Millie ^_^

  34. I bet everything that you do turns out smashing and you've got now worries...A great decision...I'm sure your children will benefit greatly... Stop by my humble blog if you have a minute...I'm having a giveaway..Thanks, Cynthia

  35. Whiskey river? ooh! I like the sound of that!

  36. Oh Ange,
    You are AMAZING. I couldn't have even contemplated home schooling my children. I don't think that I had the confidence to do it. You will be great and I think you have made a wonderful descicion. You are an inspiration for others. I think that one just has to be brave and do what you believe to be right, which is exactly what you have done. It will be lovely to watch, through your blog, how your children grow and thrive.
    Wishing you every success with your endavours and I look forward to your other news. Hi five to you Ange. XXXX

  37. Hurray!!!! for homeschooling. I have come to love it,hate it, dread it, crave it and ultimately believe in it with all my heart.

    Yes!! Yes!! our children are worth every effort to homeschool. I have done h.s. for 6 years now. This coming year we are going to try to put our oldest into the 8th grade. We'll see. She is on & off about it, hubby is for it and I am terrified of it. It isn't the horror of the French system but it our version of it here in the USA. It is no better, I think. I hope to post in Sept that we survived one month and then pulled her out. This is my prayer.

    I wanted to share Sonlight with you. It could be a Christian curriculum but if you don't order the bible portion it could considered secular, I suppose. It is lots of award winning books. I suggest it simply because I have been able to buy a single "core" (geography, literature, history, reading) and teach 2 grade levels. I love, love to read outloud so this system worked for us. It has been reasonable too because I can use one core for multiple grades and there aren't a bunch of workbooks I have to repurchase for the next child. If there is a workbook we do our work in a separate notebook.

    I was so lost in the sea of curriculum and overwhelmed when I started out that I wish I had begun with Sonlight as all the lessons plans are laid out day by day. Lovely. No thinking on my part about what to do each day.

    Honestly, I don't work for Sonlight. I don't know what French requirements you have to meet either, just wanting you to see success in this adventure.

    Anyway, I love your blog & your realness. Good luck!! You'll never regret homeschooling.

  38. I am very happy for you that you have made a decision to make your heart sing :)

    Best wishes for all your new adventures.

    love to you

    PS... that's an awesome quote

  39. Dear Ange,
    We have been sick for far too long in this house, the reason why I have been absent...but I had to wish you a Happy Mothers Day! And reading your post I say congratulations! This is a topic I am forever torn over, and who knows may also follow suit. I imagine you have, but in case you have "The Well Trained Mind" by usan Wise Bauer. It is so inspirational and full of least for the US.
    I cannot wait to
    Have a wonderful day,

  40. bravo Ange~
    you have already accomplished the hardest part of schooling your children at home...
    acknowledging that you have to sacrifice in order to receive the grace necessary for your life's desires...He has given this to you! how exciting!

  41. I think you are making a wise and very beautiful decision. You won't regret it! I am so glad you listened to your heart.

    Best wishes always,

  42. I'm just catching up with you, dear Ange, i've been doing too much hit-and-run blogging! Wow, i can't believe you used one of de Mello's quotes, i actually met him! Well, he was a Jesuit and i was in a Jesuit uni at the time. I loved that man.
    I knew you were kindred!I was the same as yourself..till i emigrated. I thank Scotland for 'enlightening' me, but that's another tale for another time. I'm so glad you followed your heart, the head will follow, really it will. Your passion will sustain you. There's an old saying, 'if you want something done ask a busy person.' And damn, if that isn't true. Have you checked out the homeschooling blogs? The blogging community is so supportive and can offer first hand experience. In any event, you're in all our thoughts and hearts. :)


Can't think of a famous quote that says 'communication makes the world go round' so you 'll just have to get my clumsy way of putting it instead ;-) Your comments are precious. Thanks for dropping by!