I took a long break from writing. I guess there was this pressure to write a “perfect” post with the perfect photo and all, to officially end our 17 year homeschool journey. So just like every daunting task, you somehow find ways to put it aside. I never found the chance to come up with a grand ending of sorts, I guess.
The first day of regular school of my youngest son last July 2018 was really uneventful. He had a lot of fun, I remember. Did I cry? No. Did I have mixed emotions? Not really. How was it? I don’t even remember much. I just knew all kids were in school for the very first time! Our eldest began to live away on weekdays for college and the younger three in high school were out from 7am to 4 PM from Monday to Friday, and I was left with our pet pug called, Boo. So what’s next?
I had told myself that I was going to give myself a chance to rest and yes, discover thyself. The non stop life of a homeschooling mother of 4 kids for the past 17 years is a huge part of who I have become. So I do have to pause and re-think and weigh a whole lot as I close this season and begin a new one.
And so I decided to put myself on a GAP YEAR mode. We’ve heard about “gap years” from foreign students who take a break to travel, to join an advocacy or simply rest shortly after their high school graduation. I met a few of my son’s friends who have done it… and so I told myself, why can’t a mom like me, set a gap year too. A year or so of rest, rediscovery, and reconnection.
And so that is where I am. I have begun to attend a few medical seminars or conferences to somehow figure out if going back to some health practice in the future is an option. I recently went away for bucket list experience. I am picking up my pens, my pots and plants, and knitting needles again for some craft and gardening work and… here, I am writing again. And hey, finally cooking new dishes again! Also, I have begun to read my own fiction (not the children’s reading requirements in homeschool). Though some homeschool events and seminars are lined up, I am taking them slowly as I take this all in and give myself: mind, body, spirit and heart to rest and heal (remember I said a whole lot of life, (yes!!! the ugly, the painful things and yes the beautiful and life stopping things too) happen as you homeschool) and listen to my Creator as to to know Him more and know where He wants me to go.
The mad rush of homeschool mornings, the endless guilt of not being able to accomplish enough, the unticked homeschool to do list, the 1,000,000 ideas of how to teach a concept in multi subjects to multi level children, the loads of bonding time through lessons and discussion have all gone.
Truly thankful for the new rhythm, new set up (and yes my new office too as seen above) and new opportunities out there. Life never stops when one homeschools so through it all, we manage our other areas of our lives……and so without homeschooling, my relationship with God, my spouse, my other family members, even my own relationship with myself and my passions have begun to exist and bloom in a different light and yes, it is a refreshing time. And hey, there is a whole new world of connecting to our once homeschooled children/ students and I have a new role and I am trying to learn this new role and enjoy it too.
I recently completed the Truth Matters conference of my home church Christ’s Commission Fellowship last January 2019. In relation to home education and the season I am in, I can truly testify to the beauty and amazing potential of relationship building through homeschooling.
By faith, I believe that we can pass on the truth to our children and help them build their own faith in a context of a strong, open, loving and affirming relationship with our children, made possible by the quality and quantity of bonding time that homeschooling provides. But then, I am careful to say that homeschooling is no way a guarantee in securing your child’s future or his/her own journey as an adult . Life is a mystery, isn’t it. Parents can only do what they deem is best as they receive guidance and instruction in parenting in this very dark world. The children we will eventually release will make their own choices and carve our their own path as they move on. And by faith and through prayer, we release them in peace.
And that is one thing I wish to write more about in probably my next post on “More Random Thoughts on Life After Homeschooling.” Hehe… to be continued…..
“He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.”