Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Why Every Homeschooling Mom Needs to Attend a High School Graduation Ceremony

Two of my former fifth graders.
My kids are 6 and 2 1/2.

We are a long way off from high school graduation.

Or are we?

As I looked around at all of the families attending our local homeschool group graduation ceremony for 16 graduates, I knew these parents had thought graduation was a long way off for them, too.

I was there for one particular student. I had known this young lady since she 4 years old and had the privilege of being her fifth grade teacher when I taught at the Christian Academy. When she was entering 9th grade, her mother (my dear friend Cathy, already a parent completely involved in her daughter's educational experience) began homeschooling her.

From the moment the processional started and Kenberly walked in, the tears began. In my mind, I could see the little 4 year year old with two pigtails walking down the aisle.... and then I envisioned a grown Addie and Ian making that same march.

Right now in May of 2014, the graduation of my own children is a long way off. I am still very deep in the trenches of homeschooling. Ian is learning his sounds and numbers in a "made-for-him-by-mommy" very loose preschoolish idea. Addie is going into second grade.

  • There are days when I wonder why I have chosen to take on myself a responsibility that others actually get paid for. 

  • There are days when it takes my super smart six year old 5 minutes to give me the answer for 4+2.... not that she doesn't know it. Her mind takes little trips and she asks me a million unrelated questions in between finding the answer and writing it on her paper..... like "Mom, why do mosquitoes bite? Is it because of Adam and Eve?"
  • There are days when being wife, mom, teacher, home-keeper, cook, and launderer are overwhelming.

  • There are many days when I have to remind myself that my goal is not to have super smart children but to teach them to be godly.
Attending Kenberly's graduation gave me the long term perspective.

  • I was able to see the tape across the finish line as each parent handed their student a diploma.
  • I was able to remember all of the answers to my "why's".
  • I was able to picture Brian and myself handing our children their diplomas and sending them into their next life adventure knowing that we had completed our purpose in the first part of their lives.
  • I was able to celebrate with these families who had once been in the trenches and had reached the end of their race.
At one point in the ceremony there was a recognition of the families who were not only celebrating their child's graduation but the end of their homeschool journey because this was their last child to be homeschooled.

I cried!

  • It suddenly dawned on me that homeschooling does not last forever.

  • This race has a finish line.
  • My children will not stay little forever.
  • I will have to let them go at some point.

I am so glad I went to this graduation. Sometimes, you need to see the bigger picture to appreciate the small strokes you are making in canvas of your child's life on a daily basis. These strokes can add beauty or can ruin the overall portrait.

As my friend Kristi often says, "The days are long, but the years are short."

I'll rephrase it: the school days are long..... but the school years are short.


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