This was an emotional post for me to write! I guess I’m just weird. I hear people who graduate their last child and are so relieved and happy- wanting to throw a party for themselves. I’m happy, but I’m sad too! I am just wrapping up my 37th (and last) year of homeschooling. Kasey will finish up probably this month. (She took a little “intermission” to take an intensive class in order to attain her private pilot’s license). It’s not that I won’t know what to do with my time, not that at all. I’ll actually miss what has become a life-style for me- getting up in the morning and “doing school”.
Can’t believe it’s been 37 years, and I can’t believe I won’t be doing that this September! I’m going to do another blog post sometime sharing some of the things I’ve learned over the last 37 years and how I became a better teacher as I learned about learning in general. I’ll share what I’d change if I could and what I’m glad I did the way I did it, but for this post, I just want to encourage you that if you’re overwhelmed by homeschooling and feel like it’s dominating your life, that’s totally normal and the day will come sooner than you might wish that you’ll be wrapping up your journey in homeschooling too.
I just want to list for you what I LOVE about homeschooling and what I’m bawling about as I write about how I’m going to miss it.
(you can see 14 more reasons Why I’m Glad I Homeschooled, here)
Homeschooling allows you to have a close relationship with each of your children. Instead of sending them off to school, you are the primary teacher. You have their attention for most of their waking hours EVERY day! You have incredible input in their live.
YOU get to choose what to expose your children to. To me, truth and a love for God and His Word was my main goal in homeschooling my children. I didn’t have to teach them evolution, pseudo- psychology, or tolerance of sinful lifestyles. I only became a Christian 4 years before my first child was born, so I had a passion for teaching them God’s Word and a passion for learning it along with them! I had to “unlearn” much of what I’d been taught in school. I never had my kids read some of the classics- the ones that were written by transcendentalists and atheists. If we expose our kids to truth, they will grow up being able to recognize falsehood.
YOU as Mom can study each child and see what their God-given passions are. You can teach to who God made them to be. Sure, there are some things we all need to know, like basic math, but there is SO much space for plugging in learning that will let your kids be far ahead in becoming who God created them to be. I LOVED watching interests develop in my kids and thinking of ways I could then supply materials, books, supplies to let them explore their unique interests. There are no average kids. Every child is a unique creation of God and YOU get to be present as God unveils year by year who your child really is. I LOVED it. It was my goal to make my kids successful in whatever they chose to pursue, not to make them into whatever the government schools deemed every child needs to be.
I will miss time with my kids!! I loved sitting with my arm around them as they stumbled through phonics and learned to read. I loved reading to them according to their area of interest, even if it wasn’t an area of my interest (like hunting white-tailed deer, for instance). But I Ioved every minute of investing in their little lives. I loved trying to find ways to help them understand concepts that were hard for them to grasp. I loved watching the little light come on in their eyes when they finally understood!
I LOVED encouraging them to try experiments or being creative (even when I knew what they wanted to do wouldn’t probably work out the way they wanted it to). That’s what learning is all about- being free to investigate and try things. Failure is a natural stepping stone to success.
I loved being the juggler, the coach, the one who supervised their learning process. Sure, I felt overwhelmed pretty much every day, but seeing them excited over achieving made it worth every moment of it. Sure, I felt stretched, like a rubber band, in so many directions, and often felt like things just weren’t sinking in- character training, manners, etc. But consistency works, and God’s Word never returns void; any time you spend teaching God’s Word to your kids will never be wasted. I found that they need to get it in their minds first, and it later works it’s way to their hearts as they learn to meditate on it’s truth.
I could go on. But know this, this season of life will end for you one day, probably a lot sooner than it did for me, having had 14 to homeschool. Remember, you won’t get this time back! Sure, it’s hard, sure it’s time-consuming, sure, it’s demanding, but look for the SWEETNESS, focus on the benefits, tune-in to the blessings and learn to embrace this season of life. Homeschooling is a privilege. Homeschooling is a blessing beyond description and if God has called you to it, He’ll supply you with the grace and creativity you need to do it. Remember to look to Him daily and be grateful for the opportunity to delight in your kids