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
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Crying with you precious Marilyn! You’ve been such an encouragement to me through your words & products! I’m in my 19th year and am loving every minute with my littlest, my 7 year old but overwhelmed with my 10th grader who’s schooling got mixed up trying to teach his older sisters long graduated now & helping my aging folks thru health crisis. I pray I can help him finish strong, his faith & his values are strong just wish we weren’t so academically behind. Thanks for your dutiful dedication to homeschooling, blazing a trail and generating resources for truth seekers!
Marilyn, I am new to your Character Concepts website, but a longtime “fan” through your books and articles. You and your husband were one of my first “mentors” in our homeschooling journey more than twenty years ago. Our youngest will begin his final year of high school in the fall, the Lord willing, and I am already sniffling my way through the curriculum catalogs in anticipation of the day I will no longer be shopping for textbooks and things. We do have a special needs child who is nineteen years old, so in a sense, I will always be homeschooling. But the days of the four of them at the kitchen table with books and papers everywhere are over. I want to thank you for the encouragement you have been to us over the years.
I also want to encourage the young moms out there who are now in the thick of it and may be tired or discouraged. Do not quit. The relationships you are building are priceless and there is no substitute for the influence you have in their lives. I would not trade one exasperating day for anything in the world.
Our oldest son, who is now with the Lord, was killed in a car crash eighteen months ago. I am so very thankful that I was able to spend all those precious days with him here at home – even the ones when I wanted to pull my hair out working through algebra with him. We have no guarantee that we will have our children with us for the long term down here on earth. I am so thankful that we home schooled him and our other children and for every second of the time I was able to spend at that precious kitchen table.
So true. Thanks for encouraging moms. We also had a son go to heaven at age 17 and I too am SO grateful for the extra time I had with him through homeschooling. It is so worth all the exasperating days! Aren’t you so glad that heaven is forever and your son is alive in heaven? Amen to encouraging young moms to keep on keeping on. It is SO strange to not be purchasing curriculum this year or tons of notebook paper, school supplies, etc.
If you have written about your son who is with the Lord or about your experience with child loss, I would very much like to read it. Thanks.
We are starting our 34th year of home education–only 5 more to go til the last one graduates (Lord willing!) Thanks for the encouragement to keep on being faithful!
You are welcome. Enjoy those last 5 years!
Precious! Thank you for sharing. Encouraging as always, Marilyn. Thank you so much for your faithfulness as a wife and mom. I SO look forward to reading the posts highlighted within this post as well. Keep shining the light of Christ. He is clearly at work within you. You are a great mom because Christ is in you and you are in Him! Blessings, e
Thanks Elizabeth. You are an encouragement to me!
Thank you for writing this! I think so many times we moms get easily discouraged or overwhelmed thinking homeschooling will last forever. It is so good to see homeschool from the perspective of someone who has completed the cycle. God bless you in this new stage of your life!
I did think it would last forever. You are so overwhelmed all you can see is right now if don’t force yourself to think about being the mom your kids will want to come home to.
What an inspiring post. Homeschooling brings a special closeness to the teacher and the pupil. homeschooling seems to produce better students.
It really does Marion. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!
Thank you Marilyn for this inspiring post. I loved seeing all the photos of the children throughout their homeschooling. God Bless you and yours.
Thanks Marilyn. It’s been quite an adventure. I’m so thankful to have been able to teach them all at home.
Hi Marilyn, You don’t know me, but as a young homeschooling mom with several littles, I have been thankful to learn from you and other godly ladies. Thanks for sharing all that God has taught you and passing it along to us younger ladies and encouraging us!
That is one of my passions- to make the way a bit easier for young moms. I LOVE young moms. You hold the future generation on your lap!