I’m not sure I actually remember our first day of homeschooling. I guess I can ask for a little grace in that department. After all, it was 1991 and we’ve had quite a few first days since then. Twenty-six to be exact.
But this year is different. As I saw many friends posting pictures of their cute little scholars getting ready for school I got a little sentimental. It’s the first year I have no student starting a new season of learning. They are all finished. All 7 have gone on to other things. Hopefully, I succeeded in instilling a love for learning in each of them and that will never end. But the days of working at the table with a little boy whose eyes lit up when he completed his math assignment with no mistakes are long gone.
Actually, I haven’t had any of those moments for a long time. High schoolers don’t normally get too excited about assignments! Sometimes I wish I knew at the beginning what I know now. If I had it to do over again, I would be less concerned about performance and focus much more on character building. I think we got better at that towards the end but even so, I still felt pressure to aim for some man-made standard.
I have realized how much time and energy we put into competing with others to see how we measure up and it’s just not worth it. In the end, you just do your best and keep moving. The things I remember worrying about with my boys, the areas of learning where they seemed to be struggling, caused so much stress at the time. And now, looking back, I can say that all those times of striving for something more have had no visible impact on my boys’ success in life. They are all doing just fine.
How do you measure success anyway? Isn’t it simply about setting goals for yourself and working toward meeting them? At this point, none of my boys have bachelor’s degrees. None have letters after their names. So what? They each have found their sweet spot. They are pursuing what interests them and doing it well. And…most of them have no school debt! I couldn’t be happier for them.
And for me? How do I embrace this next season? Right now I am looking for ways to share what I’ve learned. First is this blog. Hopefully, I will continue to share insight that will help other homeschoolers. Also, I have taken on some students to tutor. I am looking at ways to tutor online as well. I see myself as a homeschool coach that can offer strength and encouragement to other moms who may be at the beginning of their homeschool journey.
But it’s also a season to dust off the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Quilting, genealogy, reading the zillions of books I’ve been wanting to read, and writing. And I get to spend time with my grandchildren which gives me great joy.
If you are in need of someone to come alongside you as you travel this homeschooling path, contact me and we can discuss how I can help you. I know it was a great help to me when I was just starting out to spend time with veteran homeschoolers. It made the journey less daunting to see those who had survived!