There’s a bracing moment in each homeschool mama’s world where she realizes that the homeschooled kiddos aren’t staying kiddos forever (by the way, I only ever call them ‘kiddo’ here).
They are moving on, moving up, growing into their own persons and deciding to approach their lives independently.
Apparently, that’s a thing.
Despite fully acknowledging that I knew I wasn’t going to be ‘mommy’ forever, it really does come as a surprise when every.single.child. transforms their engagement with me at about the same developmental phase. Some sort of push/pull dynamic, no matter how subtly, that I instinctively repel, and they instinctively maintain.
It comes as a surprise, because my heart hasn’t changed. I’m the same mom, remembering when I pushed them from my womb then clung tightly to them just moments after their entrance into the world. (Hmmm, there’s a push, pull thing I’m doing myself).
I’m wanting the same things for my kids, I’m wanting the same closeness.
One day I’m tucking them into bed with a routine of hugs and kisses, blessings and songs, the next they’re going to bed by themselves. One day I’m detailing how to deal with their annoying sibling, the next they groan: “Mom, I can figure it out by myself.”
Their educational choices move in similar fashion.
One day I’m reading fairy tales and Trumpet of the Swan then it’s To Kill A Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby. One day I’m teaching subtraction, the next I’m listening to the math video teaching…I don’t know what it’s teaching actually…algebra? precalc?
Moving on, Growing Up
Individual. Unique. In fits & starts. Engaging one thing. Letting go another.
At this age, they are very much beginning to see their own vision for their lives, or at least aware that they will be the ones visioning their own lives.
This mama, like many homeschool mamas, had an educational plan for their high school years.
Homeschool Mama Homework
I had to do my homework, of course. A lot of homework trying to determine an uncharted education for a high schooler. Homeschooling high school is a whole different kettle of fish than homeschooling K – 9.
I attended on-line courses, read books, attended workshops on creating high school transcripts, grading, and rubrics, learned about SATs and ACTs, portfolios and recordkeeping, talked to a bajillion people. I studied post-secondary admissions requirements, high school diploma expectations, been talking with admissions officers of universities for alternative routes to entry.
Girlfriend, I was prepared to homeschool my high schooler.
One of my girls was asked when her mom would stop homeschooling. Her answer? “She probably won’t teach college.”
The person asking did not laugh. Couldn’t believe I would consider it. (I wouldn’t, relax!)
An Alternate Route to the Alternate Route
Then it so happened that my first daughter wanted to do high school the conventional way. I shouldn’t have been surprised (but I was), because she was fiercely independent from her second day of life and manifests that in numerous ways. She followed her own path to the last day of high school, and threw convention, mine and the school system’s, out the window. Though she completed her high school diploma, she curtailed it by a year, deciding she wasn’t sticking around three years to complete it; she could do it in two.
Enter the Second Child
Now my second daughter is entering high school, the homeschooled way. So here I am, finally using all that homeschool high school planning.
More work is required for me, in the beginning, yet less work from me on a day to day basis.
This gal is independent too. Just differently. She takes on her learning responsibilities for herself. This high school student resembles a college freshmen. Her drive to fulfill study hours, organize plans in her daytimer, explore potential universities and make sure she’s going to succeed at writing essays, studying for SATs, and prep for an undergrad science path, looks awfully similar to a determined, focussed college student.
This year begins a new venture into the homeschool world. Our first into a home based, community based adventure in high school education.