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I know not for everyone, and I am sorry for that.
Our 2016-2017 school year has taught me quite a lot. First, I learned that finishing school knowing your children have learned so much is one of the best feelings. I love homeschooling this time of year. All the hard work on both their and my part has proven to be a blessing. All the times they cried and didn’t want to finish their work and all the times I cried and didn’t want to make them feels distant and worth it. All the seven-hour math sessions to keep from falling behind have proven to bless us with a long summer break and time to play. I don’t love homeschooling during those late nights and long days, but I know the hope of summer is close.
The second and more valuable lesson I learned this year is that I am going to miss this when it’s gone. I could see it in the eyes of my friend’s whose last school aged child walked across the stage to graduate this year. It isn’t even gone, and they already miss it. I can see the years of dedication to their children’s education draped on their shoulders like a beautiful shawl of grace and love. They helped me see that although these years are hard, I will miss them when my little monster might walks across the stage leaving me a retired homeschool teacher.
Thirdly, that may only be a word in my head, and I learned that a community of people with like-minded ideas is more valuable than I realized. I have become very close to some fellow homeschool mothers, and I realized this year that I was lost without them. Knowing that I am not alone in the struggle to be the best teacher, choose the best curriculum and push them but not force them to be their best. Every year I spend many hours wondering over the extensive list of subjects needed to complete their grade level and move onto the next. It can be an excruciating obsessive task. I get lost in the descriptions of what each book promises to teach my child. This year, however, I leaned in and let the wisdom of those around me sooth my confused teacher’s heart. It was beautiful and life-giving.
Fourth, but not last I learned that I am my children’s mother, teacher and their friend. I am building a relationship with them that will far outlast their childhood education. We will work together to learn and grow as a unit. I have a feeling that if I pay close attention, they will teach me more about life and joy than anything ever has.
Homeschooling is a lot of work. I feel like a failure quite often, and I am constantly scared that I am doing this all wrong. The weeks between spring break and the last day of school are excruciating. The hours drag on and on and on. We have spent the last couple days doing very little. The kids have barely gotten off the couch, and I have taken the time to catch up on dishes. It has been an incredible week of much-needed rest.
As this school year ends and the summer rolls in I feel blessed to be able to look over at my littles and see their joy of accomplishment. I may not always love homeschooling, but I always desperately love my children. I would give up all my time and every hobby I have to walk with them on this journey. I always felt alone in school. The desk dividers and no talking rule separated me from the students around me and the teachers who were busy trying to fulfill their responsibilities. My school experience was one of separation and lonely learning. I may not always enjoy the long homeschool days, but I wouldn’t trade being curled up on our couch talking through all their work for anything.
I guess the most valuable lesson I learned this year was to broaden my perspective and see our homeschool time from my children’s perspective. They get to be curled up in their safe place wrapped in their blankets and learning alongside their people.
May you find the most challenging of all your moments and to see them from the eyes of the people you are doing them for.