When my children were little homeschooling was fun and low stakes.
We read aloud, baked, went on fun field trips, had "pajama days", and played.
I didn't think much beyond the following year, and certainly wasn't thinking about high school graduation!
That all began to change in the seventh grade.
Suddenly, the gravity of homeschool set in and I was filled with doubt, fear and worry.
Could I homeschool through high school? Would I be able to handle the difficult subjects? Would our relationships survive the rocky teenage years AND homeschooling?
We are completing our first year of homeschool high school, and while I can tell you that we will be homeschooling through graduation, I cannot tell you that the doubt, fear, and worry have disappeared.
What I can tell you is this: I must have FAITH and not FEAR.... faith that this will work out, faith that I will be mentally and physically fit for the challenge, and faith that God will and DOES supply all of our needs.
This homeschool high school journey reminds me of the little boy who brought Jesus meager amounts of fish and bread --- and we all know the abundance Jesus produced from so little. I bring so little to this homeschool table, yet God is turning into a FEAST!
Sending Just The Right Person
When things are overwhelming, God sends me just the perfect person, words, or sign to let me know I CAN do this and everything will be OK.
One of my biggest ponderings as I homeschool high school is just how WILL all of this work out?
Will college acceptance be smooth? Will my daughter still retain that spirit of "homeschooling" throughout her college career (you know what I mean -- the spirit that isn't afraid to go against the grain, the spirit that thirsts for knowledge and truth, and the spirit that doesn't seek to conform to the ways of the world?) ?
I've had the great privilege to meet a young woman (who happens to be a homeschool graduate) who has given me great faith in what is to come.
Rosalynne (or Rosalynne Love as she's known in the design world) is a 25 year old homeschool graduate. She loves to design. She is a young entrepreneur who loves Jesus, her husband, family.... and coffee. She also has a gorgeous Instagram feed; if you're an Instagram user you definitely need to follow her.
Getting to know Rosalynne and her mother has been such a source of encouragement. Here we have a mother and daughter who not only survived the homeschool high school years (because let's face it -- sometimes the mother-daughter dynamic can be challenging), but would heartily tell others it was the best experience they could have imagined.
Aren't they pretty?
Rosalynne told me about her dual enrollment in high school, and also about her adjustment to college. She spoke of her siblings and how they all had different learning styles --- and how her mom adjusted learning for all of them.
She also shared with me that when she has her own children she would love to homeschool them.
Isn't that just a homeschool mom's dream? To inspire your own children to homeschool their children, too?
Rosalynne has an adventuresome spirit and has started her own design business. I happen to think her shirts are just beautiful.
(You can explore her Etsy shop to see even more cute designs.)
She took Anna on a fun photo shoot. As she was snapping pictures of my daughter, I couldn't help but realize God had orchestrated this moment. Here I was, getting to know a beautiful homeschool high school graduate - and the message on the shirt she designed - "even so it is well with my soul" - was so appropriate for this point in my life as a homeschooling mom.
When you homeschool high school you no longer get the bear hugs and sticky kisses. Sometimes the lightbulb moments seem far and few between. You struggle with heart issues as well as academic issues.
It is a daily refinement of child AND parent.
And that's the hard part.
Homeschooling has pointed out so many of my flaws... so many traits that I think would have gone largely undetected had my children not been homeschooled.
I am impatient. I like to take shortcuts. I am poor with time management. (The list goes on.)
Even so... it is well with my soul. (Don't you love that?)
I want to get a shirt with this saying on it for all of my fellow homeschool mom friends who are homeschooling high school right along with me!
When I tend to get anxious I need to rest in His grace and draw upon faith, the advice of mentors, and sweet moments.
He has given me the resources to homeschool. He encourages me daily (if I am only still and listen for his voice and abide in His word).
After all, he wouldn't entrust such a precious gift to me without equipping me to handle it well.
It's funny how a simple photo shoot with a new friend can lead to so much and give me such faith and encouragement for the journey.
Faith Not Fear
So... that is why my new motto for homeschool high school is FAITH NOT FEAR.
Just look at this picture (by the way... this is a sweet friend of my daughter's who had NO IDEA she was getting roped into a photo shoot when she was invited to our house for the afternoon!).
I think our afternoon with Rosalynne gave my daughter faith for the future, too. It's imperative our homeschoolers have positive role models. I know Anna wonders how all of this homeschooling high school will turn out, and it was fun to get a glimpse into a graduate's life.
Some Helpful Advice
I also wanted to find out what words of wisdom Rosalynne's mom would impart to moms like me. Here you go -- this is advice from someone who has completed the homeschool journey and completed it WELL.
1. Never give up.
Everyone is learning, even when it doesn't feel like it.
2. Have fun.
Take your education on the road, picnic, adventure, and explore as you study.
3. Know learning styles.
My 3 children had a different one. I learned to teach in their style and it made learning easier and they enjoyed school.
4. Don't forget yourself.
Wearing many hats as a homeschool mother it is important to rejuvenate your batteries and do something you enjoy occasionally.
I am thrilled to tell you about Rosalynne, and I want to help support her and her growing business.
Rosalynne is offering Homegrown Learners' readers 15% off any purchase in her store. Simply use the code HOMEGROWN15 at checkout. The discount is good until Sunday evening, April 3rd, at midnight CST.
Click here to explore the goodness!
Are you homeschooling a high schooler? Do you have words of advice, questions, fears? I'd love to get a conversation going in the comments below!