Thursday, June 01, 2006

Reflections and struggles...

***ADDED FOR CLARIFICATION: Our daughter has attended a junior college for the last two years (grades 11 and 12) so she not only graduated high school, but also her 2nd college year. Since this post is about homeschooling through high school, I wanted to let you know how we reached our goal!

Since graduating our oldest daughter a couple of weeks ago, I've spent some time reflecting on our homeschooling journey up to this point. I have found that when you embark on a road that is going to last for 12+ years, you don't spend a lot of time looking for the finish line, so when you cross over it can seem a bit surprising.

We initially chose to homeschool when Danika was three years old. It is a path that we feel God has chosen for our family and, at this point, we plan on seeing it through until Aubry graduates in 2018 (GASP!). In other words, we are in this for the long haul. Homeschooling has not always been easy or fun but, in general, we enjoy it and we like the close family relationships that have sprung out of it. The main reason we homeschool our kids is to lay a foundation of God's truth in their lives and we also believe that it is a great way to provide our kids with an excellent, custom-tailored education. Homeschooling is not an answer to all of life's problems, but I know it has made certain things, like the teen years, a little less bumpy than they could have been.

One of our biggest difficulties has been the lack of other homeschooled high-schoolers in our area. For a small-ish town, we have a large homeschooling community but it is very loose-knit and most people have chosen to send their kids to high school. While I respect their decision for their kids, it does leave us with a few hurdles to overcome, the main one being that our girls feel "different" than their peers. Personally, I don't think that being different is the worst thing in the world but I can understand the concerns of my girls. We have had many talks about this subject, many of them tearful but each time we have come to the conclusion that homeschooling was not only the best choice, but also God's plan for us. Now that we have passed over the finish line with one child, I can say with assurance that we made the right decision. If anything, I am strengthened in my resolve that we are on the right path.

I don't write this to convince anyone of anything, but rather to encourage you to follow through if homeschooling is your calling. Nothing in life that matters is easy to attain and the greatest reward comes from doing the job that God places before you, even if it is a tough, demanding one.

Believe me when I say that the prize you receive at the finish line is amazing!

"...Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus..."
--Hebrews 12:2