It is a mind shift that I noticed pretty much the day it happened with all of my children. Alex's first drawing of "guys" as he called it, was so beautiful it made me cry. He was about 4 1/2, and he had sat down at the table to draw while I was cooking dinner. He came up to me, and there were four distinct different drawings on his paper, and with this huge light in his eyes he told me "Look mama! I made guys!" Then I saw it... the circles he had made had legs, arms, and a face! One even had a hat. I stopped and turned off the stove and we sat there and 'made guys' together for the next half hour. I honestly don't remember what happened to dinner. But that first picture where he depicted something real it safely tucked away in his baby book so he can look at it and remember those moments with his own kids.
With Cyan it was a harder thing to tell. She always had more purpose in her drawings and she always wanted them to be a certain way. I do remember when she was able to make the pen do what she wanted, but it was more of weeks and months of her getting frustrated and then all of a sudden it came, like a flash, and she was making people. People with 12 fingers, and everyone had pointy feet, but people just the same... oh, she drew a horse that day, too. This moment is also tucked away in her memory box.
Sometimes, homeschooling isn't so much about 'education' as it is about being there for every second of a child's development. Knowing when these shifts happen and being able to see the subtle things that you would miss if you had to be away from them 10 hours each day. That is the main reason I started homeschooling. I couldn't stand the thought that some of these seemingly insignificant moments would be missed or glossed over, or perhaps, if I was lucky to find a good caregiver, told to me afterwards. There is real struggle with having your children with you all the time, but the beauty you find in being able to talk about the day that he learned to draw and knowing how incredible that was is something you can not replace later in life. I could never get over the idea of someone else having those moments with my children and not understanding how amazing and fantastic they truly are. So they are home with me... where they belong.