After more than 14 years of homeschooling I have found that despite all the ups and downs, fears and failures, tempers and tantrums, (yes … we had had all of these!) it is only a success if you persevere.
Simply stick to the goal … work around and through the glitches … and keep on going … all the way.
“Do a Dory” (from Nemo) and “just keep swimming … just keep swimming…”
Homeschooling is our choice that has never been “cast in stone“, but it did require a flint head at times.
There have been years when it was a slog and we just “did school”. Sometimes it was simply easier to keep going and maintain a forward momentum, rather than stop and start. Just by doing read alouds, we did our school work when everything threatened to fall apart. Reading aloud was the glue that held us together! Other times we just did our disciplined studies; short, sweet little 3R lessons, then abandoned the books for time outdoors and nature study or a leisurely art appreciation lesson … thank you, Charlotte Mason!
There were seasons when my young teens were unmotivated and unwilling. Some of my Charlotte Mason subjects became “boring” and my teen kids refused to do them, I felt like a failure. Their choice to move to textbook approach made school dry and dead. But we kept on.
Worse, we used a curriculum provider for high school that did not provide, but with no other real options, we had to make it work. Impak Education became my “means to an end”. Boy, did I learn about perseverance! They did not post my eldest daughter’s books, then “lost” her study materials and portfolios in the post. When they finally emailed me the files, which I then still had to print, we were far behind schedule. I had to pray hard for a strategy to fit 25 portfolio assignments into 2 weeks … and not lose my head!
No feedback was given … for anything. We couriered away huge portfolio assignments and never heard a word. Nothing. The curriculum provider did not mark a very important final assignment and after about 15 emails and desperate calls, I
think, hope, pray that the portfolio was re-marked. I felt like we were flying in the dark. Blind. My daughter wanted to give up, but I held the goal in mind and we persevered.
When I prayed to the Lord in desperation one day, I clearly imagined what the end of my eldest daughter’s homeschool would look like. I saw her standing with me, with the blue-green sea gently rolling behind, and her long viscose dress and loose hair waving in the summer breeze. We were clinking our champagne glasses together in a toast. She was thanking me and I was congratulating her. Although it was winter when I had this vision, it warmed my heart and I shared it with her. Somehow, this goal kept us going.
Just a few weeks ago, after her final exam, our family surprised her with a celebratory lunch at our favourite beach-side restaurant and toasted her success with pink champagne!
This week we will receive my eldest daughter’s matric results!
Many homeschool moms swap, abandon and doubt their packages. Many moms watch as teenagers leave homeschooling in favour of public schools, and they secretly, deep down, doubt their decisions.
Your homeschool journey may take its twists and turns, it may have a few delays, punctured wheels and unplanned detours, but if you keep going, you will reach your destination
While it is complex, sticking to your homeschool goals may require desperate perseverance.
All I can say for my experience is that it is truly worthwhile, because these decisions are important.
In the end I gratefully praise God and say,
“Thank you Lord. It has been a privilege to be on this journey!”
Blessings as you persevere into 2014.