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“The end of anything is sad.”

I often think of this quote by my grandmother, and lately, it has come to my mind more often.

This month, my eldest will graduate from our family homeschool. Twelve years ago, as she finished her kindergarten year, we made some changes. I had a third child, quit my part-time job which came with free Christian school tuition, and, having no other option for our family, began to homeschool.
My husband and I already had a growing interest in homeschooling and supported it. With my elementary teaching background, I was not at all intimidated by teaching my own children to read, write, and do arithmetic. So I fixed up a room in our house as a “schoolroom,” and began our journey when my children were 6, 4, and 5 months.
The comment I hear most often when I tell non-homeschoolers I teach my children at home is “I could never do that. I don’t have the patience.” I chuckle at this remark, for I am the least patient person I know. Rather, I was the least patient person I know– as the Lord has used this homeschooling journey to teach me to lean on Him for the manifestation of patience, part of the fruit of the spirit mentioned in Galatians 5. I have made many mistakes, and had many years (about the first 7), when I swore I would not do it again the next year. I have changed curriculums… learning new things each time. One year, my poor daughter endured three different Algebra curriculums as we tried, failed, and tried again to conquer highschool math. (We found a better solution the next year in Teaching Textbooks.) We have homeschooled in three different states, with and without a schoolroom, and with and without Daddy working from home while we are having school.
And now, we come to the end of the journey with our firstborn. I rejoice and cry. Because the time went too fast…it always does. Because I did make mistakes, especially with her (our “guinea pig”) and I can’t go back and fix them. Because she’s so precious, and I know as she leaves the nest, she will encounter trials and tribulations out in the world that will be hard for her. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. I do not for a minute regret this homeschool adventure, or think my daughter missed out on anything. Rather, she was able to enjoy more fully the blessings God gave her, secure in her family’s love and the safe environment of home, venturing out for new activities and making new friends, able to interact with people of all ages.
Grandma was right…the end of anything is sad. But the beginning of another is full of excitement and anticipation, and that’s how I’ll think of my daughter as she goes off to Christian college in the fall… she is confident, strong in the Lord, and prepared to face the “real world” as she lives away from home for the first time.

Wife and homeschooling mother of three, Kim enjoys reading, writing, and watching old movies.  A self-proclaimed chocoholic, she also loves to cook and bake.  You can find more of her musings (and recipes) at thedaisymuse.com.