Last Year of Home School

And so this is it.  A career that began with my daughters, almost 20 years ago, ends this May, upon the graduation of my youngest son.  All my children have only, ever, been home educated.  From kindergarten through graduation, all the reading, writing, and math skills have been learned at home.

This is my very last year as a full time home educator.  We start this week - Isaac and I - with a review of basic Geometry and Algebra II, along with a DVD teaching series by John Bevere for Bible class, and some light essay writing...just to get going.  Then, we'll launch into anatomy and physiology, and we'll get his 1/2 credit of economics in by Christmas.

I am doing one thing slightly different this year:  I am journaling from my perspective as a parent-educator about how wonderful this experience can be.  I'm free-writing, stream of consciousness style, digging deep into my heart of hearts, and putting down in writing what the school year would look like, what the semester would look like, what the week would look like, what the day would look like, if I could design it any way I budget, no restraints, no issues.  I'm pretending like I have zero baggage, no lack of resources, and an amazing grace overshadowing this whole endeavor.

Then, after I'm done imagining it...I'm going to live it.  I'm wondering just how big my God can be.

Here's a bit of visual inspiration for my fellow home educators (a stalwart lot, we are!)...we've outgrown this idea somewhat here at my house, but I will be taking this idea and tweaking it for myself soon!

I'm so glad I didn't quit home schooling when it stopped being cute and gratifying.  You your kids get older, they outgrow the "learning centers" and the lovely nature tables get replaced with desktop computers and bulky textbooks, and it all gets a bit grueling and...not cute.  When the kids get a little mouthy and aren't overwhelmed with gratitude at your sacrifice in staying home to drill them in their theorems and Latin declensions.  When science isn't as simple as a nature walk and a field guide.  When you aren't so impressed with yourself as teacher anymore, and the enthusiasm seems to be waning and government or some sort of institutional education looks so inviting. 

When someone becomes prodigal, graduates from your home school full of potential, but doesn't go on to college - and in fact takes all those hours of music lessons and leadership training, and begins to play in bars all over your city.  Even then.  Even then, I am so glad we didn't give up.

I don't know how this year will turn out.  This is a communication from the uncertainty of the front lines, not some safe observation from hindsight.

But, come what may, I am already glad I didn't quit.

This is it.  It all comes down to this year.  You won't waste a prayer on the Atchley family, gentle reader!
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