In September, Aidan and I will begin his final year of high school. I can’t believe it. When I first decided to home-school, it was simply because I wanted to be with him through the learning process. I don’t think home-schooling is the only way or the “right way” to educate children. I truly believe each family decides what is best for them. What I knew then was that I wanted to be involved in his education full time. What I know now is that I was completely clueless as to what that would mean. I also know that it was the best and hardest decision of my life.
As I am nearing the finish line, which is really just a launching pad for Aidan, I am reflecting on what I have learned through my years as a home-school mom. The reason I am doing this is because I have been panicking lately. I think every parent, whether they home-school or not, battles guilt. I have to confess, I hate guilt with a cussing passion. My panic is that I haven’t prepared Aidan well enough. I see my weaknesses in our school and I panic. Have I taught him enough? Will he pass his SAT? Will he ever use math again? Will he be able to handle college? What will people think if he doesn’t do a Discipleship Training School? Since we have worked with Youth With A Mission for twenty years, this might be a big deal for some. The questions and worries and panic keep coming, like waves crashing on the shore.
I never set out to have a strictly academic school. I wanted my man-cubs to love reading and learning and to know how to learn and to be able to think for themselves. I also wanted them to love. To love themselves and to love God and to love others. If I look at their education from this perspective, I can say I have succeeded on many levels. Yet, when I compare (yes, compare), it sends me into a spiral. My man-cub is not a part of the Brainy Bunch. Have you heard about this family? A wonderfully, crazy home-school family that makes the news because of their brilliant children who go off to college while in middle and high school. Sheesh. Can I just say I am glad we are not a part of the Brainy Bunch? It’s just not us.
|Put a guitar in this man-cub’s hand and see the magic.|
I have learned and am still learning that I will probably not be able to prepare Aidan for everything he will face when he graduates. That’s okay. I am still around to guide and help him. I have learned that it’s important to develop one’s giftings and not just focus on academics. I have learned that he simply will not know everything when he graduates, even if he thinks he does. I have learned that I have given him the best education I could and enjoyed the journey (most of the time). I have learned to value relationship over grades. And I have learned that even if we are nearing the finish line in schooling, I will never finish being his mama. Never, ever. Happy dance.
|Sneak a kiss during the selfie!|
This final year schooling him will be a big, fat celebration. We will celebrate that we haven’t killed each other. We will celebrate his success in completing his elementary and high school education. We will celebrate God’s faithfulness to our family. We will celebrate our close relationship. And all through the year, when panic raises its ugly head, I will tell it to shut the hockey puck up!
How do you cope with guilt or panic?