Monday, June 06, 2011

Homeschool Sighs - A homeschool Mom muses about the graduation season.

Last week I had a pretty bad cold and with a lot of head congestion and various medications and remedies to get through I wasn't always clear minded. I think I posted this article accidentally and it went to my Facebook page. I remember deleting something from my Facebook page and I think it was this. Anyway, I in no way meant to say that I am disappointed or ashamed of my sons. In fact, long-time readers I hope would know that I am very proud of them. The gist of this article anyway, wasn't about their accomplishments, but more about my feelings as a homeschooling mom and perhaps other moms of homeschooling graduates who have had similar thoughts during graduation time.

mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa
A couple of weeks ago, I accompanied my sister to our local high school to attend the annual awards ceremony. The auditorium was full of high school seniors, teachers and administrators. There was a lovely program with the morning's agenda. Everyone seemed excited and happy to be there. After some opening words and music, they eventually started handing out awards to the different students.

It was very impressive. Most of the awards, it seemed to me, were given for athletic AND academic achievement. Students lettered in not one but TWO sports with grad point averages over 4.0.  I had a little perspective on this. I graduated with a 3.65 grade point average, with honors  and lettered in band. I did that with hours of homework many evenings past midnight.  More recently my oldest boy lettered in swimming and had a respectable average GPA.  So I had some idea of what it took to get these types of accolades and I was in awe of these kids!

I found myself getting a little wistful. In a few weeks my second son will be graduating in a simple homeschool ceremony.  He will have a nice diploma, a graduation ring that his father and I got him, and the kind wishes of friends and family. But most of his accomplishments and achievements are not public. There won't be any awards ceremony for him or any of the other homeschoolers graduating with him.

This is part of taking the road less traveled. Since we started homeschooling 14 years ago, there have always been differences between the educational path my kids are taking and what many of their friends and even family is doing. It's worth noting that the homeschool path has its own rewards.
  • Time to know our children inside and out, with their thoughts on everything from math, to politics to religion, science and history.
  • Watching the kids overcome struggles with hard topics like algebra and science and battles with laziness and sloth.
  • Sharing great books and big projects with days and weeks to delve into it, not cut off with arbitrary deadlines.
  • Watching close siblings become best friends.
  • Watching employers and others in leadership roles in the community and church find enough value in my older homeschooled students to place their trust in them.
  • Putting God and family first.
We started homeschooling to pour ourselves into our children, to watch them learn to love learning and pick up good values. Their award is to be well-prepared for a good life.  Our reward will be their well-lived lives. And with that in mind, I can watch my second boy graduate, and then turn back to continue home educating the remaining four.

Calvin's Graduation Class with ARCHE

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3 comments:

Angie said...

This struck a chord with me. I graduated my oldest from homeschool last year, and number 2 will graduate in a couple years. I too will have four younger children to educate after that. Thank you for the reminder that all the work is worth it, and that our children will be better off in the long run.

Victoria said...

My oldest will be going into 9th grade this year, so I'm just barely thinking of graduation. However, I sometimes struggle with thoughts of what my children might be "missing out" on. But, like you, I must remind myself of why we began to homeschool and what the benefits are. There will be many rewards for a godly young man in heaven one day. Those reward will be eternal and not be forgotten, lost, or collect dust.
Congratulations on graduating 2 children so far!

MommieJoys said...

I was homeschooled "through college" I always say. *smiles* My High School graduation was with about 80 other homeschool students from our area. Parents handed out diplomas, there was a special speaker and we all wore a cap and gown. Honestly, I couldn't have cared less about the ceremony - mostly I agreed to it for my parents. For me, the graduation ceremony was just something I had to do because of tradition.
Nearly 11 years later, I see that it really was important for my parents because they had decided to homeschool when homeschooling was still taboo. But for me, I was comfortable knowing I'd finished my courses, done the best I could and was DONE with school!
Homeschool parents, I'd sit down with your graduate and get their opinion. Do they WANT a cap and gown? Do they WANT a ceremony or open-house? Maybe a big dinner with family and close friends would be enough for them. Look around - at the nearest big city homeschool support group - maybe they offer a graduation ceremony you can join.
When you choose to homeschool, you're choosing to be different! Enjoy - and God bless.

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