This week we begin another school year. I worked for weeks to be ready for the traditional end-of-year celebration we usually have. I prepared fun names for various new clubs and activities for my kids for the new year. I color-coded everything to make it fun and exciting. On Sunday (the last day of July), I was finally ready.
I cooked a special dinner and made a two-tiered cake.
With grade sheets and descriptions and lists of every last little thing my kids learned in the previous year at the ready, I called everyone to dinner. Happily, I thought to myself, “This year I really have this down since we have done it so many times – it is so easy now! I can make table decorations that match certificates and I have a whole set of new cute names prepared for our new activities! The “Munch” (math lunch) sessions from last year are nothing in comparison to the Euclidean Geometry extraveganza I have planned for this year!”
And so we begand dinner. My husband got into his “I’m the principal” mode and began to congratulate the kids, just like he does every year.
And then it happened.
Simultaneously my kids told us that they really did not care for any of this “cutesy” stuff anymore. They were homeschooled but since we school year-round, they really don’t care about what they did in the last school year or what changes were in store for August. There are new subjects that we are starting, and they are looking forward to learning those, but we could drop the color-coding and the cute names.
Maybe this is why so many homeschooling families are large. I finally figured out how to do nearly every craft and art project there is. I know how to teach Algebra and grammar and composition and science labs. I thought it would be years before all we did together was socratic discussion and readings…. but it snuck up on me and the joy of childhood has vanished.
I was sitting in my backyard, yes – feeling sorry for myself and wishing that we had focused on having a larger family (say 10 or 13 kids would be just perfect)…. when my husband came out to sit with me.
He pointed out that we have a new joy to focus on – the joy of living with young adults who challenge and stretch our intellect daily. Instead of the sassy, sullen teens that typify public-schooled middle schoolers and high schoolers, we are blessed with a group of young adults who help us, learn from us, and most magically, expand our vision of the world. They spur us to question our tired ideas and challenge us to learn alongside them as we expand our knowledge into areas we previously did not consider.
That is the beauty of homeschooling young adults: your children are approaching your knowledge and intellect and daily threatening to surpass you. You did your job teaching them to read, and spell, and do math ,and tie their shoes…. and now the real fun begins (without the color-coding and cute names).
Adulthood is almost here!
You can find more posts like this one on my blog at www.byebyebrickandmortar.com where I journal about the trials and blessings of homeschooling my children, post downloads to share, and insights I find along the way.