Homeschooling and The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost
Today as part of our Language Arts lesson, I read The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost to three of the kids. They had not heard this poem before and after reading it through to them twice I asked them what they thought the poem was about. Magdalena (11) said, “First, is this guy Christian? Because if he is then I think he was writing about being a Christian. The road less traveled is being Christian, no one wants to be Christian anymore because it is so hard.” Diego (12) then piped in, “Yeah, exactly. It’s the harder road, full of thorns and mountains, no easy paths and no escalators for us!” Viviana (9) nodded her head in agreement and added,”We get bats on our road but that’s okay because we get to go to heaven!” Lena then continued, “Yeah, Christians go to heaven and that’s what he means by taking the road less traveled has made all the difference.” We are reading The Horse and His Boy (Narnia series) and they started discussing Shasta choosing the harder road and meeting Aslan on it. the-horse-and-his-boy

The kids said all of this while laughing and joking about the hard road and no escalators and I was surprised that this was their first idea about the meaning of the poem. We continued discussing the poem in more depth and all the possible meanings. It was a good and fun discussion.

I often think about our decision to homeschool. It was a decision we made years ago when our first child was young. It was a hard decision and we went back and forth between homeschooling, public school, charter school, and then finally back to homeshooling with her. The rest of the kids have been exclusively homeschooled. I often think about the choice for various reasons. Some days I see the wonderful, intelligent, and unique young lady our first graduate is and am grateful we made the decision because I see the fruit of the work. Some days we have fun filled learning and awesome moments and I am happy and grateful to be teaching the kids myself. Other days I want to put them all in school and enjoy some peace and quiet with the little ones and have time to get chores done and maybe even extra reading and writing. There are days I desperately want to quit because it’s too dang hard. Then there are days I gladly accept the challenge and struggle through the day knowing this is the best decision for our family (even if it isn’t the best for all families).

I read an article about Robert Frost’s famous poem which argued that most people do not know what the poem is actually about. You can read it here if you are interested. The kids and I discussed what the article said as well. I explained to the kids that what an artist is trying to convey, and what a person takes from the art are not always the same thing. Ultimately, it is what we take from it and how the art speaks to us that matters. Today I was pleased to see my children relating to this poem in the way they did. It reminded them of the narrow gate, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14) Would they have related to the poem in the same way if I were not homeschooling them? Maybe, maybe not? I don’t really know. I do know this is the path we have set our feet to and I will continue to pray for the strength and guidance to keep on it.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

–Robert Frost

 

5 Comments

  1. I read that poem last year in school. It is a great poem!

  2. I love Robert Frost & this poem is one of my favorites!

  3. a perfect poem… I am going to try it on my kids today

  4. i love reading your posts and i am greek orthodox. i have a question, why have the byzantine rite Catholics stayed catholic and not joined the orthodox church>?? if my remembrance of history is correct, thte areas that the eastern catholics are from where once orthodox lands..

    i mean bc everything seems exactly the same between us and u guys but not between us and catholicism in its entirety

    • Hi Nick. Thanks for reading, glad you enjoy the posts. That’s a short question that doesn’t have a short answer! I think I will write a blog post as a response sometime over the next week. I certainly cannot answer for all of the Byzantine Catholics but could give a bit of insight (I hope). Thanks again for reading!

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