Tucked in at night by her husband, her four kids, and the Wasatch Mountains, Emily Bailey runs A Homeschool Unscripted. Her work is to hold the space for childhood, and be the homeschool mentor she never had.


You ask for proof.  Performance.

I show you leaves and roots.

You ask for experts.  Answers.

I show you the sun.

You ask for data.  Scores.

I show you smiles.

My evidence abounds, but you dismiss

what is green, not red or black.

How can a sprout or wisened oak

speak to a bottom line?

You fear delays and wasted time.

I watch no clock--

only yellowing.


is equal parts math and magic,

formula and faith.

Sometimes I wish I could learn

to count,

to speak your language,

to please you.

But my tongue is tied

when you ask "how much?"

because my answer is...

my whole soul.

I sense the smallest pebble

of skepticism in your hand--

the wall shoots up, diamond strong,

granite thick, mountain tall.

Cold, impenetrable,

to guard my heart: living, breathing

outside my chest,

planted in the richest soil

I fetched from faraway.

There's one small window

and a door.  Can't you see?

The handle is unlocked.  Walk through,

I beg wordlessly.

You’ll see the children have been picking

all day,

and find them slumbering in sunlight

with fruit-stained cheeks

behind the garden shed.

But you look through the window,

see me napping on the grass

amid heaps

and heaps

of dirt. 

No baskets of fruit upon the ground. 

Hundreds of invisible stems.

Ice cream in the sun