Most of the graduations for my area are now over. Another chapter has closed and a new one is just beginning.
For myself, I have officially closed the chapter in my life of homeschooling. My youngest child, Lindy, finished up her studies this month and is now ready for her next chapter in life as well.
As I sit here typing, I find a sense of accomplishment in this phase of my life closing, but I also feel a sense of loss. Homeschooling has been a part of my identity for the past twelve years. I was not just a mom, Girl Scout Leader, Little League Coach, but also the person who was responsible for making sure my children received the education that they deserved.
I am sure that somewhere along the way I messed up many times. I am sure that I left out material that many schools, or even other homeschool parents, felt was necessary for my child’s education. But see, I don’t think that way. I allowed my child to find courses that appealed them to them. Subjects that they felt was necessary for life. Some call it unschooling, but I call it preparing for the real world.
Society has pushed four-year universities so hard that now our generation is lacking skill-trade workers and many graduates of four-year universities cannot find a job in their field. Knowing this information led me to believe that my children needed to understand life skills just as much as Calculus and Chemistry.
By the time my son was ten years old, he was out early in the morning hunting squirrel and rabbit, where he would then bring it home skin it, clean it, and marinate it before ever starting his morning school work. At lunchtime, he would then prepare and cook what he had killed that morning.
With my daughter, I wanted her to know that she needed to be able to take care of herself. She needed to be independent enough not to have to rely on someone else. But I also wanted her to know that she had many talents that she could use to help others. Because of her heart and compassion for serving others, Lindy loves mission work and at the young age of 13 started traveling to Guatemala to work with Shadow of His Wings Orphanage.
I led my children to believe that finding your passion and having the skills to back it up is just as important as academics. My son is pursuing a degree in Parks and Recreation and Lindy is taking the summer to explore her options on where she wants her next chapter to begin.
For me, I will have the memories to last a lifetime. The days of laughter, the days of tears and the days where we decided that having a movie day on the couch with popcorn was more important than one more algebra problem.