We ended our school year several days ago, but due to life’s busyness we just got around to having our celebratory party Friday night.
I kept is fairly simple as we tied a bow on another school year. I do these little parties for the kids, but also for myself, and for Ryan. They are a good reminder to our family of where we have been; a time for reflecting on some of the highs and lows of the school year.
This was the end of our fifth year and it felt like a special occasion to hit a five year milestone; especially when I said I’d never homeschool our kids; and again when I said I’d only do it a year.
Life is funny like that. Never turns into giving it a try, which somehow transitions into a five year commitment. I stared this journey with a second grader, a kindergartener, and a pre-pre-schooler. I also started this journey with a heavy dose of trepidation, blindness, and worry that I’d mess the whole thing up.
It turns out that God has been faithful and merciful along this ride. He’s given grace and peace in the midst of every transition, trial, and moment when I’ve second-guessed what we’re doing here.
Last night as I cheered on some of our kids’ successes for the year, it confirmed to me that the 2015-2016, was not at all what I’d hoped it would be. Several factors are to blame, but overall, my working full-time AND doing a co-op meant too much was farmed out. We gave too much away and didn’t have time for what mattered most to our family.
We all recognized this early in the school year, but stuck with our obligation to what’d we’d started. Going forward, we won’t do another co-op and I have cut back my projected work hours.
We will go back to our typical rhythm and lifestyle of learning. If this school year taught *me* anything, it was to trust in what the Lord has called me to do and how he wants me to accomplish it. As always, I believe God doesn’t want me looking to the right or the left for my approval of what homeschooling should look like. He wants me looking up to him for my guidance.
It was a long school year to learn that lesson, but alas, I’d like to end with some of our highlights of this year.
- each of the kids (and I) made some great friendships in the local homeschool community from our co-op; such sweet, loving, welcoming folks who are like-minded when it comes to academics
- we all learned the value of perseverance and honoring a commitment even when we felt like walking away
- each of the kids excelled academically under the direction of a variety of teaching styles, methods, and curricula
- they all worked very hard with very little input from me; each of the three is now self-directed (for the most part) and I’m proud of their moxy
- everyone had a good year with evident spiritual growth, maturity, social opportunities, and fun
As always, ending a school year is a mixed bag of emotions. I am thankful and relieved “we made it,” but also excited about what the next school year with bring.
Here’s my 2014-2015 post from last year in case you’d like to take a trip down memory lane.