I don’t think homeschooling parents spend much time thinking about the day when they will be finished homeschooling their children. I know I didn’t…we were too busy trying to nail down those “plutification” tables and learn how to write something worth reading. (Note: if you’ve never heard of “plutification”, you need to read Pippi Longstocking. Definitely a hole in your education.)
But one day it comes…and you are finished. They have moved on to higher education, or other grown-up pursuits, and there is nothing left to teach but the occasional emergency call for life skills. “Mom, how do I…?”
In thinking about this series of posts, I assumed I would want to start at the beginning, with things I learned when the children were small. But what is fresh on my mind is the end, which came all too soon. So here are some thoughts concerning the end of homeschooling:
1. You will not feel like you covered everything.
It is, of course, impossible to teach your child everything they will ever need to know. It is also important that they learn things from other sources besides you. However, there will be things that you consider important, books you really like, topics you wanted to discuss…that remain undone.
2. You will have seen fruit from your labors that you never expected.
Most people who homeschool have a general idea of what sort of person they hope their children will turn out to be, and expect their efforts will help shape them in that direction. And yet, when you first see your child forming new ideas with the basic information you have given them, it is an amazing thing. When you see their character shine in difficult situations, it will be more beautiful fruit than you had imagined.
3. You will start hoping they will want to homeschool their children someday.
This statement does not stem from a desire to get your money’s worth out of all that curriculum you bought, even if it would still be useful to the second generation. (I know you’ve probably still got some hiding in your attic.) Now that you are done, and the kids really did turn out all right, you occasionally think, “Surely they will want to homeschool their kids!” But before you can have grandkids, you will have a son or daughter-in-law, and this decision will be for the two of them to make.
4. Give yourself and your young adult children some grace.
This time of growing into adulthood and leaving home, at first temporarily but eventually forever, is a difficult one. It is something you’ve never done before, but cannot do over. So give yourself and your children some grace, for the times when you forget they are so grown-up and you are overbearing…for the times when they forget what you have taught them and make mistakes. The road farther down will be smoother as you adjust to this new way of relating with your children, as capable adults.
So you’ve finished homeschooling? Pat yourself on the back! You’ve given your children a great gift, one they will appreciate more and more as time goes by.
Link to part two here…
Link to part three here…