Teen and I fought often during his tween years. Every math answer I marked wrong prompted a heated debate. So would requests for chores that weren’t part of his regular job list. Changing hormones splashed against his hard head like the tide and a recent move from the only home he’d ever known fostered some tense homeschooling times. Bad days beg questions. “Am I doing the right thing? Is it time to send my kid to government school? Have I broken my child by homeschooling?”
Every parent educator has bad days, months, or even seasons. You can’t look at them in isolation. Homeschooling, like life, is a journey. It is the beautiful culmination of good days and bad days. When Teen was about to graduate, Hubby said something along these lines, “Do you realize what you’ve done? You’ve educated a human being from beginning to end. That’s amazing. How many people can say that?”
Frankly, I was too stunned to register his words exactly. I had never thought about Teen’s education that way. I was always lost in the day to day, worrying about credits, and socialization, and comprehension, and a million other things. But homeschooling spans years and cannot be defined by the day to day. The end result of your experience, whether you teach through high school or stop along the way, is a human being who has benefited from the investment of time, resources, and love you’ve given.
A friend’s advice during that tough season inaugurated a turning point. I’d write out all of Teen’s assignments in the morning and give him a deadline for completion. He’d hang out in his room and work. The autonomy and independence calmed him. We fought less. And before I knew it, that season was over. Teen again craved my input in his assignments, and, soon, he was back at the dining table interacting with me during the school day.
Homeschool mom Paige sums up this journey perfectly:
Remember that if God calls you to something, He will equip you…You will have good days and bad days, just the way you do if your kids attend traditional school. Lastly, do your very best and follow your heart and trust that God will bless your efforts even when you feel like you may have failed in some area–when you do something in love it will always be rewarded.