I Am: On Crying in the Shower/Ending My Homeschooling Journey ~
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool and Introverted Moms
A note from Jamie: The fall semester over at my Introverted Moms Book Club has officially started, and I’d love to see you there! Get more details, pay-what-you-can, and sign up here!
Ya’ll, I put my son on the school bus this morning…and then sobbed.
Not because it was the wrong thing to do; I know in my bones it couldn’t be more right. But because this whole summer has been a series of small endings, and this morning was the final one.
My homeschooling journey of 15 years is officially over.
I’m so proud of all three of my “no-longer-kid” kids:
- Trishna (age 20), learning so much about herself and the world as she works in her first job
- Jonathan (age 19), on tour with the Jonas Brothers as their Lighting Director through the end of 2023
- Elijah (age 18), beginning our town’s school program for special needs students ages 18-22
Each one of them has stepped out of their comfort zones in new ways this year and has continued developing their unique skills, gifts, and potential – does it get any better than that as a parent?!
At my homeschool retirement party back in June, I shared with our closest friends a reflection I’d written to give a snapshot of all of the highs and lows that come with the journey of home education.
Today I wanted to share it with you as well below! Note: I also recorded the poem for Episode 116 of my Simple Homeschool podcast and chatted more in-depth about the end of the journey if you care to listen in!
- The different components of my retirement party: pop quiz, champagne toast, poetry, prayer
- The letter Jonathan wrote to me when he graduated in 2022
- Jamie reads aloud the poem she wrote and read at her homeschool retirement
- Find pics/video of my retirement party pinned on my Instagram profile
I Am: On Crying in the Shower/Ending the Homeschooling Journey
I cry in the shower.
There’s a certain spot where I lean my forehead, watch tears join the water stream, flow as one down the glass.
I want to quit. Instead I get a towel, prepare for another day.
I tell myself, “10 years from now, I’ll be glad I kept going,” And I am.
I rest my childhood copy of Farmer Boy on the counter, surrounded by flour, rolling pin and messes waiting for later.
The scent of apple turnovers, like Ma used to make, infiltrates the kitchen and seeps onto the porch.
Soon the still-hot treats burn small, impatient fingers as I pick up the book and read to captivated ears.
“10 years from now this will be nothing more than a memory,” I remind myself. And it is.
I sit next to a child at the table and wonder what’s wrong.
Sensing I should ask, I also just want to get this assignment done. I inhale impatience, exhale a question: “Is something bothering you?”
Out it comes: the fear, the worry, the burden. I can’t fix it, but I can half its weight.
“10 years from now I’ll be glad I stopped the lesson,” I tell myself. And I am.
I glance out the window to see childhood innocence in motion.
On the tree swing, a colorful dress-up cape flutters with each push, kite’s tail caught by the wind.
I stop the dishes, pick up my camera, head outside.
“10 years from now I will still treasure this moment.” And I do.
I passed Weary two miles ago and can’t check off another box.
Declaring it movie day, sofas and thick blankets become our desks and chairs as favorite stories take shape before us.
Chatter ceases for at least a minute, as I sip Earl Grey and rest my eyes.
“10 years from now, “ I convince myself, “I’ll be relieved I pressed pause on this day.” And I am.
I close the read aloud as an impromptu theatre production breaks out.
They grab props, costumes, and each other: one the villain, the others the heroes.
I fulfill my role as audience, then gently segue to a new activity before fighting erupts.
“10 years from now I’ll remember this performance, made for my eyes only.” And I do.
I pray downstairs as shouts descend one floor above, derailing my beautifully laid-out plans.
Surrounded by comfort objects: Bible, books, earplugs, I ask God for the millionth time: “Am I doing anything right for these children?”
Once again he whispers words I once again try to believe:
“10 years from now, you’ll clearly see the impact your work has made on their lives.” And I can.
A lifetime of daily memories thread together on a string, but not the glimmering garland of pearls you’d want decorating your tree.
Ours is rough and ragged, bitter and sweet forever fused together.
My moments of inadequacy match those of plenty, yet my loaves and fish multiply.
I’m there for every first word read, milestone reached, lesson learned.
By God’s grace I longed to give them the education I never received. And I have.
I go back in time, slide a note under the door to the discouraged mom stepping out of the shower.
“10 years from now,” it reads, “the thousands of snapshots of delight, sorrow, laughter, sacrifice, and growth will be worth it, but not just for your kids…
You will have evolved into a completely different, much stronger person.”
And I am.
For those of you who have already or are just now ending the homeschooling journey too, I’d love to know what the transition has been like for you! Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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