What Happens When Homeschooling Ends? ~
Written by Shawna Wingert of Different by Design Learning
A note from Jamie: This is Shawna’s final post on Simple Homeschool, after sharing her thoughts and experience with us in this space for nearly seven years! I’m so grateful, as I know you are, too, for her authentic voice, her beautiful writing style, and her vulnerable heart that she’s opened up so freely to us for so long. We love and will miss you, friend!
My son filled out his college dorm room questionnaire yesterday.
He responded with the times he prefers to wake and sleep, how much quiet he needs to study, and his general interests.
As he typed away, I sat in the corner, musing about how this happened so fast, admiring how sure of himself he was in answering the questions, and wondering what happens next.
We started homeschooling ten years ago because of this child – his needs, his intellect, his struggles.
This month, it comes to an end.
What Happens When Homeschooling Ends?
Four years ago, many of his friends made the decision to stop homeschooling and return to public high school.
Their families all had different reasons, but the result was the same. Transition, letting go, learning a new way, loss, and gain.
I’ve been thinking about those homeschooling moms a lot lately.
Was it strange, waking up that first day in September, knowing your child will be taught by so many others, but not by you?
How weird was it, the first time you saw a curriculum ad or an Instagram post about homeschooling? Were you relieved or sad?
Most of all, what happened to your relationship with your child?
I could ask all of these questions and more, but I won’t. That’s the thing about homeschooling. We all do it differently, and I’m realizing that we all get something different from it.
As my son’s homeschooling years dwindle down into days, I am flooded with emotion.
Relief, fear, excitement, concern, grief – they swirl around each other in my mind as we order announcements and put down deposits.
In all of it, I am also more passionate and sure about this simple fact – making the decision to homeschool was the best decision I’ve made in my lifetime. It has radically changed everything I think about education, about my children, and about my own sense of self.
I’ve learned more in our homeschool than I did in college, academically and practically. My children have learned more in our homeschool than I did in college, academically and practically.
Homeschooling was a gift, and, honestly, it was really, really difficult.
I was sure for the first five years or so that I was doing it all wrong. I felt certain that if I just found the “right method” or the “right curriculum” or the “right planner” I would somehow figure it out and my boys would be fine.
I spent the last five years realizing that I was figuring it out, not because of any method or curriculum or planner, but because I began to lean into what made my children unique. The more I embraced my kids’ interests and strengths, the more they learned.
The more they learned, the more I leaned into their interests and strengths.
It became a circle of learning and of life.
What I want you to know now, as my eldest’s homeschooling journey ends, is this.
Homeschooling my children is, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
And, as my son moves into his dorm and whatever comes next, I want you to know that I am so grateful to have had the opportunity.
The good and the bad, the fun and the messy, the tears and the joy – it all added up to an education.
More than that, it added up to a childhood, a motherhood, and a life.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
Have you experienced what happens when homeschooling ends? Click here to leave a comment or reply to this email to share your experience–we’d love to hear it.
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