Dear homeschool mom friends, have you prepared for your life after homeschooling? Maybe you haven’t thought about that because you are too busy customizing lessons for your children. Whether your heart is ready to let go, in the middle of it, or just started, remember that (formal)homeschooling is not forever. When our children move up, we move forward to a different season.
The End of an Era
It was in 2009 when my husband and I decided to provide our children with home education. As a new homeschooling mom, I was excited to teach our then 6-year-old son. I had all my books, tools, and a designated space for learning. We both had smiles on our faces when we ended our first day.
But the giggling and finger-painting on a sunny day were not the norm. There were hard days that made me doubt I made the right decision. Like any bad day, we brushed the tears away, asked for forgiveness, and started again the next day. Soon, I added another child in the homeschool room.
After six years under my care, our son moved to a hybrid homeschool setup. Those years were his best because they boosted his confidence, revealed his hidden talents, and improved his social skills. I know I wouldn’t have provided him with that experience at home.
Yes, we lasted 14 years of homeschooling, but that is nothing to boast about. I don’t need a gold medal for that. As cliche as it may sound, homeschooling is only by God’s grace.
I haven’t felt the end of an era because our daughter is still on vacation. It might dawn on me when she goes to senior high in August because Chippy (our doggo) and I will be alone at home.
Setting the Stage
In our early years of homeschooling, I didn’t think much about what I will do after. I didn’t want to do anything but focus on teaching our children. It may look noble to some, but it had financial drawbacks. We felt the effects of a single-income household. I tried online jobs to augment the family income, but I gave them up because it disrupted our homeschooling, and the pay was not worth it.
Then, I started a small food business at home. I was having fun, earning, and homeschooling our children. We also gained loyal fans. I grew my baking, cooking, and creative skills too. We integrated our food business into homeschooling by exposing the children to business. They were with us in the planning, marketing, production, and until delivery of products. I wanted to create an awareness about entrepreneurship, which is another avenue for them in the future other than employment.
Our primary reason for homeschooling them is to develop their character. I don’t want a child who is number one in class but is arrogant and feels entitled. Unfortunately, I have met adults like that and they are not fun to be around. Our children are far from perfect. Their attitude and behavior still need correction so we started them young.
We set the stage for them because we are raising adults and not children. I won’t be homeschooling them forever but my husband and I will train them as best as we can to become responsible adults. They will struggle and fight the discipline but as any parent would say, it is for their good.
Ask any mother, and they will all say that motherhood changed them. However, in our dedication to our new role, we forget who we were before we became mothers. Do you still remember who you were before you became a mom? Do you recall what were the things you enjoyed doing? Passions? Goals?
Stay-at-home moms like me feel this more. Our world revolves around our children, and we neglect ourselves. We don’t know who we are anymore. In my early years of mothering, I thought of escaping my role to connect with the old me, only to realize she was not there anymore. There is a new woman, and she’s called Mama.
Mom has become our new identity and we embraced it fully. We want to be there in the formative years because we know how crucial it is in a child’s development. But as our children grow and become more independent, we have a hard time accepting this cycle of life. They don’t need us that much anymore so we are left alone with ourselves.
What do I do now? It’s time to get to know the woman we have become. What does she want to do aside from mothering her children? What are her goals? Does she have new dreams she wants to achieve? Where is her next assignment from the Lord?
There is Life After Homeschooling
You may not be a homeschooling mom but you may be a mother whose children are in their late teens to early 20s. They may be in college or starting their own lives and you don’t feel needed anymore. My dear mom friend, there is life after a season of focused nurturing.
You may not be a homeschooling mom. You may be a mother whose children are in their late teens to early 20s. They may be in college or starting their own lives, and you don’t feel needed anymore. My dear mom friend, there is life after a season of focused nurturing.
You are not just a mom who cooks and manages your home. You are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works. (Ephesians 2:10) Your good work is not limited to the four corners of your home and validated by the hugs of your children and husband. God can use you for so much more.
What if the Lord calls you to start a new career, open a business, or be a consultant? Of course, this is income-generating. But more than the income, it is what you can contribute to the company. Your new business can employ 1 to 10 or even 100 people. Imagine the lives you can help! As a consultant, your experience and expertise will add value to an organization that needs help.
What if the Lord calls you to serve in a ministry or volunteer in your community? If money is not an issue, volunteerism is a great use of your time, talent, and treasure. God doesn’t call you because you are good. God calls you because your heart is willing to be trained to help others.
What if the Lord calls you to be a source of encouragement for the younger women online? Social media is here to stay. Let’s use it to edify one another and not tear each other apart. It is such a powerful tool to impact one person at a time. Share an encouraging thought, video, life lessons, or even hacks to help other women get through the day.
If I focus on my contemporaries who have ‘made it’ in life, I will feel behind and disappointed with myself. It’s easy to regret focusing on the children and homeschooling them. But you know what? I never regret the day I decided to choose home education. Yes, motherhood and homeschooling changed who I was to become the woman God wanted me to be. Is there life after homeschooling? Oh, definitely! I can’t wait to start this new season in my life.