So a new school year has rolled around yet again. This will be our 13th year of educating our children at home.
I remember when Emma was 3 years old, we had already made the decision of homeschooling her and I was chomping at the bit in researching educational philosophies and curriculum. I was mourning the fact that I had two whole years to wait until I could actually start teaching her. That seemed like lightyears away. A blink of an eye and fourteen years later, I am staring into our last year together.
This is Emma’s Grade 12 year. This is the year when I mourn all of the things that I didn’t have time to teach her, the year when I reminisce over all of the tear-stained memories we have shared over the years–good and bad– the year that I stand in awe over the beautiful soul that she has grown into. Yeah, this is that year.
I have dreaded the coming of this year for the past thirteen years. It has hung over me like a storm cloud for every school year in the past. The thoughts of this year has induced patches of insomnia, waves of anxiety and torrents of tears.
But now that this blasted year has finally arrived it isn’t all that bad. I have finally been able to rest in the peace that Jesus offers me. I have done all that I have been humanly able to do and the rest I leave in Jesus’ hands. He will take care of her. He will never leave her nor forsake her and I breathe sighs of relief into that promise.
Most homeschool parents when faced with their children’s last school year, try to squeeze all they can, educationally and socially, into that year. I have been tempted to do that as well but I have decided to take another path. I have decided to squeeze all things relational into this year. I want to watch more movies with Emma, listen to podcasts together, read out loud together (yes, still,) and have what Bravewriter calls ‘Big, Juicy Conversations.’ I want to focus on our relationship rather than on her education. This will seem all kinds of wrong to many people but it is causing me to let go of the breath that I have been holding on to for the past 4 years. This just seems right to me and I am going to trust it.
Emma’s plans for next year is to go to school in New Zealand. She will be leaving in July of 2017 and I won’t see her for another 4 months. Faced with that reality, persuasive essays, strong rhetoric, reading all of the books that we haven’t gotten to just doesn’t seem all that important in the light of not seeing my oldest child for 4 months.
So our educational plan for this year, her last year of highschool is: Calculus, Advanced Biology, modern history mixed in with worldview and philosophy, slow reading (with me) of Anna Karenina, art, home ec and rhetoric. When I look at the list it doesn’t look all that slack to me after all.
Again, the panic slides back to where it is manageable.