Homeschool Graduation Is Here, My Thoughts After Homeschooling All The Way Through
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Homeschool Graduation Is Here, My Thoughts After Homeschooling All The Way Through
Well, it’s a wrap friends! I have been working on writing this post for a couple of months. It’s been on my list of things to do since the beginning of March, but I have waited as long as I possibly could. The time has come to celebrate my first-born child’s homeschool graduation.
To tell you all how sensitive I have been this year, I didn’t even share her 18th birthday party pics because it was too overwhelming for me. This momma has definitely had some emotional moments leading up to now. I knew it was coming, but time seemed to speed up rather than slow down this year. So bear with me as many emotions are happening for this homeschool mom graduating her first child.
Our 14- Year Homeschool Journey Has Come To An End
I am genuinely happy for my daughter, and I can’t wait to see what God has planned for her future. However, I would be lying if I didn’t admit those few sad emotions that are intertwined in there. But I have learned this year that I can hold both feelings simultaneously. I am excited about her homeschool graduation (she is so happy to be done), and at the same time, I can also feel sadness about our homeschool journey ending. I know that is just me being selfish and wallowing in my feelings a bit.
We homeschooled from the beginning, and my daughter has never attended public school. She had a brief 3-week stint at a local university model school in third grade when I panicked that I was about to have two babies 14 months apart, and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to handle that and homeschooling. But that’s a story for another time; you have to love those pregnancy hormones. 😂 Boy, did I learn to appreciate homeschooling after that!
My point is we have been on this journey together for some time, and the end feels bittersweet. So thank you for letting me share and be transparent with you, and now, onto the good stuff!
What Really Matters When It Comes To Home Educating?
I want to celebrate my homeschool graduate and share with you what we have learned through this process of homeschooling her all the way through. We learned that what really matters when it comes to home education doesn’t have to do with the right homeschool curriculum.
Is choosing the right homeschool curriculum important? Of course! Learning styles matter, and choosing the right curriculum is vital to your overall success when it comes to homeschooling. But your mindset about home education and how you approach education as a whole is way more important than what history curriculum you choose.
What really mattered for us when I look back on homeschooling was:
- cultivating a love of learning
- fostering her unique gifts and interests
- letting go of all my bad public school habits and beliefs about education
- my ability to learn more about home education and grow
- keeping a solid homeschool routine that worked well for our family
- keeping Christ as the center of our homeschool
- valuing relationships over grades
- read aloud time (I will forever cherish this time with my kids)
Some of you are itching to know what’s next for her, so we will share that too! But first, here are the three things that got us from preschool to homeschool graduation.
3 Things That Got Us From Preschool To Homeschool Graduation
- Prayer. I know for many of you, this may sound cliche, but honestly, if it weren’t for prayer and relying on God’s grace and direction, we wouldn’t have made it this far. Of course, there were times when we both wanted to give up, or I threatened to send her to public school. (That doesn’t sound very good, I know! A lot can happen during a 14-year-long homeschool journey. 😂) But without prayer, we would have easily given up when things got complicated. Instead, I focused on the long-term, not the short-term, and God sustained us through it all.
- Growth. If there is anything that I could recommend every homeschool mom do is to always be learning and improving in all areas of your life. After working with hundreds of homeschool moms as a homeschool consultant, I know the most successful homeschool moms are always open-minded about learning and growing. Reading, personal growth, and researching are all qualities of successful homeschool moms. #lifelonglearners make awesome homeschool moms! If I weren’t open to learning new things or had the ability to self-evaluate often, our homeschool journey could have been disastrous.
- Flexibility – In curriculum changes, routines, and varying seasons of life, we had to be flexible. Adapting to changes like new babies, new work schedules, moving, changing curriculum, and all the things that life brings is essential to not losing your mind. Learn to pivot; home education, when done well, meshes life and education seamlessly, and being flexible when new changes or circumstances arise is one of your best assets as a homeschool mom.
Those probably aren’t the keys to successful homeschool education you were expecting, but they are vital to the health of your homeschool.
What Will My Homeschool Gradute Do Next?
Geeze, if I had a dollar for every time my daughter has been asked what she will do next, I would have a lot of dollars! I understand that many people think college is the only option if you want to be successful in life, but I believe that opportunity abounds. There are many paths to becoming successful these days and many different ways to do so.
Plus, my daughter highly values the traditional path of becoming a wife and mother, and I know that is something she will pursue one day. And I fully support that; being a wife and mother has been the most beautiful experience for me, and I will 100% encourage that if it is what she chooses.
One thing I know I did right as a homeschool mom was allowing my daughter to follow her personal interests. She loves art, and we had enough hours to get an art credit for high school three or four times over! She loves to be creative and play with color, so all her artistic efforts might be channeled into her next endeavor; we are still determining if she will pursue makeup artistry or cosmetology next.
Fostering Her Unique Interests Paid Off
But there is no rush for her next move since she already has her own business. Yes! She started a pet-sitting business in her junior year that now keeps her busy full-time. She has watched me run my business from home for much of her youth, and my entrepreneurial side has influenced her to make her own way too.
She has learned so much from running her own business over the past few years and is already making a significant income. I am so thankful that I fostered all of her business start-ups as a child. She started with a cupcake business, then began sewing, crafting, and learning to sell her handmade items on Etsy. She also ran a Poshmark store for years, so learning e-commerce as an elective was highly beneficial and a good life skill for kids to learn.
The Real Gift Of Homeschool Graduation
This last bit of reflection is important to share with you and was such a gift to our family – especially if you are reading this and considering homeschooling. This Beatrix Potter quote comes to mind, “Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.”
I often wonder who my daughter would be had I sent her to public school. Public school peers might have told her who she was versus having the time, space, and ability to grow at her own pace. I am glad we didn’t give way to the chance that she was molded by society.
I can’t say we missed out on anything by not going the public school route. We socialized a lot; we did homeschool groups, ballet classes with peers, violin lessons, volunteering, American Heritage Girls, art classes, sewing classes, and church small groups. We experienced all sorts of things socially and academically over the years. And we met so many incredible homeschool families along the way.
We are also thankful that we could freely include Bible study, prayer, and pursuing her individual goals and passions. It indeed was an education tailored just for her, and we will treasure that she had the right soil to grow in. She surely puts the color in our world!
So all that to say, our family is ready for extraordinary, exciting things to happen in her life. We will keep praying and see where God leads her this next year. But in the meantime, we plan to celebrate our homeschool graduate this weekend with a Texas-style pool party complete with BBQ and all.