Today, our family’s first homeschooler, Coby, goes up the stage to receive his grade school diploma.
The road we dared to walk on six years ago started out of curiosity. The decision to homeschool was easy but the determination to complete was close to impossible. Too many times I gave up. And it was during those times, God reminded me that I was doing it all wrong. I was relying on myself and my strength. He reminded me to finish what He started in me.
I would say the most dramatic moments in my life were the ones involving home education. I need not elaborate on the many tears I cried, doubts that clouded my vision and persecution I received along the way. I look back now and see that they were all part of the great tapestry of homeschooling.
What I’ve learned through all those years is that, Mom, think less of yourself when you take in the responsibility of teaching your kids at home. It’s a humbling experience to think less of ourselves and focus most of the time organizing, planning and teaching the lessons. I’m not saying this to glorify what I did and what I continue to do but the that’s the truth. It takes a lot of letting go of what Mom wants… that’s motherhood, right?
When I do decide to focus on myself, I end up cramming horribly (which I do enjoy, I’m weird like that) then end up losing my patience. Soon, guilt comes along which feeds my mind thoughts like “You’re short-changing your kids” or “You’re not good enough.”
But God is good because He allowed me to see the truth about myself that I never acknowledged. The selfish me who wants all the time to myself, to do the things I like. God is not a kill joy that He doesn’t want me to enjoy my life too. He just needed me to see how I need to prioritize things in my life. The Bible says there is a season for everything. I am in a season where I need to teach my kids. Only God will tell me when that season will end.
As I look up (literally) at Coby now, all I can see is someone who has been entrusted by God to me and my husband. I don’t why God still trusts me to be this young man’s mother and teacher despite all the mistakes I made. Sometimes I ask God, “Are you sure, you really want me to be a mother to these two?”
As we move on to the next chapter of Coby’s education, we have decided as a family that I will now delegate the teaching to someone else. No, he is not YET moving to a conventional school and yes I will still be homeschooling him but only on two to three subjects. We have decided to sought the help of real teachers (who are mothers as well) who will take in Coby in their center together with other homeschoolers.This might raise eyebrows among purebred homeschoolers and say “It’s no longer homeschooling”. It is to us.
The center will also help him get to know new people. Since it will be like a mini classroom with a handful of students, I am hoping that he will meet new friends that will be a good influence to him. He is actually looking forward to this also. It’s going to be a new adventure for all of us.
What can I do if I really don’t have the skill and the time to teach my incoming seventh-grader anymore? I remember one friend who suggested this set up to me years ago and claims that homeschooling has been lighter ever since she made that decision to seek help. It didn’t make her or me less of a homeschooler just because we sought the help of others who are more equipped to teach. We shouldn’t be afraid to delegate.
The idea of moving him to a conventional school after grade school entered our mind. In fact, we visited schools nearby but we couldn’t find the right fit at this time. Again, if after a year of spending time at the center, God calls us to send him out then we will. We will do so in God’s time.
Just this weekend, my husband helped me complete the portfolios of the kids. After the last page was inserted in the binder, I let out a long sigh of relief. It is finished! My task appointed by God was completed. I’ve never been this thrilled finishing a school year.
I am grateful for those six years. I probably wouldn’t have known Coby this much if not for time we spent together. I will miss our teaching moments…. I will miss bringing him back when he gets distracted… I will miss his boisterous laughter every time we share stories…
I will miss him but I am looking forward to what God has in store for our eldest child as he takes his first step out into the world.
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