Today, our first homeschooler graduates in senior high school. Next month begins a new season as he enters college. This graduation is a long time coming, but we are still grateful to celebrate his progress and achievement for two years.
Jacob started homeschooling in first grade. He was my first student, and I admit I was not his best teacher. I was impatient and angry when he couldn’t get the answers correctly. He would cry and I would cry, too. Our first years were very emotional. I didn’t have the maturity to handle his uniqueness and learning style. Many days I wished I didn’t homeschool him because I believe I was not an excellent teacher. My focus was for him to get the answer right rather than check his heart. I knew I hurt him, but I asked for forgiveness every time.
When I let him go after sixth grade and allowed other teachers to mentor him, he soared! I would say his four years in a hybrid homeschool setup were his best years. He met wonderful teachers and gained new friends. We discovered hidden talents and boy, were we amazed! We thought of him as the shy and quiet type. But he exudes confidence and passion every time he performs on stage. I wouldn’t have known that if I continued to homeschool him without any help.
Life After Homeschool
He couldn’t wait to start senior high because it will be his first time in a conventional school. Life after homeschool is going to be different. He was excited to go to class every day and had many stories to share when he goes home. Because he liked to tell stories about his classmates and teachers, I asked him, “So are there any pretty girls in the class?” He blushed. Of course, I was not encouraging him to start a relationship. This mom was just curious.
He had a lot of experience in his new school:
- Worked on group projects at a classmate’s home
- Led a group project and took responsibility for the outcome
- Practiced self-control by teaching himself how to respond to a negative teacher
- Stood up to a bully and won him over.
- Admired a girl in school
- Took the bus home and offered his seat to a lady
- Hung out with his friends after school
- Used his school money to budget his food
He was enjoying student life until the pandemic hit. He couldn’t hang out with his friends anymore. Schools were closed, and learning was on a different platform.
It Takes a Village to Raise a Child
Online learning became a challenge for us because we only had one desktop working for the entire family. So we needed an extra laptop for him to use. I scouted computer stores online. Not only were the good ones expensive, but they also had limited stocks. Then, he received an unexpected blessing from the Lord. His two uncles sent funds for him to get his own laptop!
My mom is his number one fan and supporter. Despite the distance, her involvement in her grandchildren’s lives is clear. She would do anything to show her love to her grandchildren and they also try to reciprocate that love.
During the lockdown, our son reconnected with his old friends and teachers. When he turned 18 this year, they agreed to send him video greetings as part of his birthday surprise. I know he will always treasure these people in his heart forever.
In his Words
Since this post is about Jacob’s life after homeschool, I asked him what he learned from his homeschooling years. This is what he shared with me:
- I developed biblical values through homeschooling. It’s not just about memorizing bible verses but applying them in my life. These lessons helped grow my faith and face the challenges.
- There is value when a parent becomes the parent-teacher because their relationship develops. The parent learns more about the child and his/her learning style. While the child learns to respect the parent as the authority.
- Homeschooling is not for every family. Not all parents have the time to teach their child at home, especially working parents.
- Homeschooling works!
As he prepares for college (Viva Mapua!), our son is reading up on his new university and his course. Sometimes he reads too much that he is bordering on worry and overthinking. We assure him we will always support him, pray for him, and encourage him to be better. Congratulations to all 2021 graduates and their parents!