Mo Willem’s Because: A Serendipodous Symphony During a Homeschool Journey

“Little things can have a big effect.”

This past weekend my son and I attended the National Symphony Orchestra’s world premiere of “Because”, a symphony of serendipity.

“Because Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence MO WILLEMS wrote a powerful story of how chance, discovery, and persistence changed the life of a young girl, he needed an illustrator to bring it to life. Because illustrator AMBER REN related to the hero of the story, she created magical illustrations. Because the book moved them, the NSO wanted to turn it into an orchestral piece. Because acclaimed composer and violinist JESSIE MONTGOM­­­­­ERY was also changed by music as a young person, she composed the score. Because is a world premiere symphonic exploration that you and your loved ones want to see and hear to become part of the story.”

As I listened to Mo Willem’s personal “because” and, as I soaked in this multi-media symphonic exploration, I began to reflect on the book’s question: “How can music change a young person’s life?”

As a young person, I studied the violin and attended many concerts. As a mother, I am joining my son on his personal violin journey. As a home learning guide, it struck me that it has not been music learning that has changed my or his life the most but rather a series of serendipitous educational experiences.

Because my parents wanted to travel, they decided to Worldschool their then 10-year-old daughter.

Because I was homeschooled for a period of my educational journey, I always questioned mainstream ideas.

Because I didn’t want “status quo”, I started raising a Montessori child.

Because of a move to a new city, I decided to give our highly praised bilingual public school a try for kindergarten. 

Because my son was officially diagnosed with ADHD, he qualified for an IEP (Individualized Education Plan)

Because of the large class size, more rambunctious school culture, and my questioning of mainstream ideas, I began wishing for an alternative school option.

Because of our location, I did not find a suitable alternative school option. 

Because of COVID 19, we stopped attending our local public school.

Because distance learning classes were dull, unengaging, and hard to follow and because we lost the support from his IEP professionals, we decided to start home learning.

Because we started home learning, I discovered (from my son) more ways in which his former education (both Montessori and public) had clashed with his learning style.

Because of his unique learning style and newfound learning freedom he had no interest in “wasting his time in a classroom”.

Because home learning an ADHD, suspected dyslexic kid was insurmountably hard, I had to think outside more traditional educational models. 

Because I began observing, documenting, and learning, we survived the self-doubt, what-ifs, tears, and extreme aggravation period.

Because we survived, we are now confident, relaxed, eclectic home learners.

Because we are home learners, my son has gradually gone from being a reluctant learner to a more active and enthusiastic learner.

Because he is becoming more self-directed, he has challenged himself in many ways, including with his violin playing.

Because he is engaged and challenging himself, he requested to attend a violin or National Symphony Orchestra performance at the Kennedy Center.


Because to forging our own path!

That’s why we are home learners.


To explore your because further, download your Home Learning Road Map and create a home learning journey that works…for you!

What is your serendipitous because?

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