When Homeschooling Ends–The Final Chapter

 

Much like any life event requiring a huge emotional adjustment—leaving an old job for a new position, packing up your home to move to a new city, or watching your 5-year-old board the bus for her first day at kindergarten—you may find yourself reflecting and wishing life could just stand still. Changes can be difficult even if they are good ones, and sometimes they can make your heart cry big, painful tears.

 

Many of us have heard the familiar sayings which philosophize such life events, trying to provide us solace, wisdom or hope–when one door closes, another door opens or it’s the beginning of a new chapter. Sometimes it hurts to leave the old and familiar and much-loved behind when the new chapter is knocking on your door, inevitable and impossible to avoid. Because time goes on.

 

Yet, right now, my heart is crying those big, painful tears as my joyous journey with homeschooling ends. Packing away the last of our homeschooling books took me much longer than it should have because each page, each poster and even each binder brought back the kind of memories which make you weep from both sadness and happiness. My youngest son is moving on from homeschooling to college now, and I really don’t want to see our homeschooling journey end. I struggle to close the door and start the next chapter.

 

Turning the pages of our favorite homeschooling books and flipping through a tattered daily journal, I found forgotten notes and half-done school work. It threw me back in time, remembering every detail of those beloved homeschool moments which made me smile, had me laughing out loud or they made me cry. While packing the last of our supplies and papers into boxes, I closed my eyes wishing I could reach deep and as far back as I could to grab at those memories and bring some back into the present, even for a little while. Laying across the doorstep one bitterly-cold January day, trying to get snowflakes to land on our microscope which was hooked up to our computer inside, just to capture one elusive, clear photo of a snowflake, or meeting friends at an old, crumbling concrete amphitheater at the park watching our children acting out impromptu scenes from Shakespeare using props they fashioned from leaves, limbs and wildflowers nearby.

snowflake

Homeschooling was as much a wondrous experience for me as it was for my sons. And at times, it was probably more exciting for me and less so for my sons because kids are just out to burst your bubble sometimes, right? But, I dove into homeschooling with my whole heart, and less so with my brain, never realizing that it was to be a way of life and not just an education. It became a family endeavor I would fall in love with—and regret so terrilby to leave behind. Homeschooling brought more than learning to our family–it brought friendships and fun, and it opened our minds to experiences and ideas which would never have been possible otherwise. Homeschooling enriched, expanded and exhilarated our world like no other experience could have. And now we leave homeschooling behind, packed up in boxes to be donated and passed on to the next lucky family on their homeschooling journey.

 

Homeschooling. I want to go back, start all over, and do it all again.

 

When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens

 

But, doing it all again isn’t entirely beyond hope because I kept our favorite books and ideas to be passed on. Along with the many memories of our unforgettable homeschooling journey, I also have visions for another, yet different type of do-over—grandchildren!

grandchildren

There just might be another but different round of Shakespeare and snowflakes, reading and playing, mud pies and playdough, dancing and laughter.  One more treasured opportunity for learning as another door opens and a new chapter begins. Because time goes on.

 

 

8 Comments on “When Homeschooling Ends–The Final Chapter

  1. Thanks for your post. I am brand new to Twitter and was hoping to find other homeschooling mothers who are closing this precious chapter. I have 5 children, schooled 4 boys K-12 and still have my 8th grade daughter to educate. Even though I still have one student at home, I tearfully remember the years with my 4 boys. They all pursued their interests, the oldest is finishing a PhD, the others are in college with wide range of interests.

    It sound like a success story except that along the way we forgot to nourish the mother, the teacher, the homemaker. I find myself lost and adrift in our culture. I stayed home for 26 years and it seems impossible to access life outside of home.
    I’ve no one to relate to and many friends have moved over the years. I hope to meet other mothers who are having difficulty after decades of home immersion.

    • Cece,

      I so understand! My youngest started college full-time this year (he took a gap year because of a recent move, so I had an extra year with him), and I find myself wondering, “what do I do now?” It is a difficult transition going from a homeschool mom, having devoted so much time and effort into raising and educating our children, to being your own person! I so get what you are going through. Maybe we need to start a closed Facebook group for moms like us when homeschooling ends and we are not sure what the next chapter should be!

      My heart and thoughts go out to you! <3

  2. Thanks for your assessment of the “end” of homeschooling! I am in the midst of that right now. The is much turmoil in my home what with the end of classes in our beloved homeschool co-op. 😥 Seems it would be easier if my daughter had some direction in which the Lord was calling her, but as yet she does not. I hope we can survive this change!

    • Lisa,

      One thing I’ve learned throughout our homeschooling journey, my child’s path was on his own timeline, not mine. Sometimes our children find their path earlier, some find it later–both are equally valid. Accepting that sometimes it just takes time, maybe longer than I had hoped, helped me to not stress too much during this transition for us.

      Good luck and best wishes to you, Lisa! <3

  3. How bittersweet! You were the lady that inspired me to start the journey. Three years in and I can only imagine how you feel. I hope you do get to pass on those wonderful lessons to your grandkids and to keep inspiring those of us who still need to know that someone understands. Hooray for your freedom, yippee for your boys who have become men, and a sigh of relief for a job well done. Keep inspiring! You’re a gem.

    • Thank you, Lisa! You are so sweet to say that. I can’t wait to pass on the fun and joy of learning to future grandkids! It will give me new experiences to write about–enriching the lives of your gifted grandkids! <3

  4. When I’m done crying I’m going out to make mud pies with my littles. Thank you for all the great posts and I hope you’ll continue to pass on all your amazing experience… if not, please keep me on your list for when you start posting about the grandkids 😉

    • Eugenia,

      Aww, thank you for the kind words, Eugenia! I’ll keep passing along all my experiences for sure–kids and grandkids!

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