Blast from the Past: Another Milestone

Happy 2009! It’s a banner year for us, as we will be graduating our third child from homeschooling this year.

It’s a bittersweet time, of course, because I have so enjoyed the years dd17 and I have spent learning together. It’s been quite a ride, too.

She officially began homeschooling at age 4, when I bought her a set of preschool workbooks from Rod and Staff. This was her idea, not mine, of course. She had seen her older siblings doing school and wanted to be just like them. I acquiesced, but we never worked together formally until she got a bit older. The main reason for this was that I had a hard time juggling her, our toddler with special needs (and many medical and therapy appointments) and our older kids, 10 and 12, who were also homeschooled.

Around that time, my husband came home to work, and my own workload lightened up with his help. As the chaos lessened, I found that working with my daughter was a nice daily respite from Algebra and other challenges that come with homeschooling pre-teens.

The years flew by, and before I knew it, our two older kids had graduated from high school and homeschooling. Now my daughter and I could work together interrupted only by her little brother; the big kids were at work or college.

These were fun years. She was in a homeschoolers’ Girl Scout troop, and we baked and sewed together, too.

At age 11, she decided to study the violin (she still does). Soon she asked me to teach her to make quilts, and she helped make them for a mission project with our church. She made and sold crafts, and began writing novels.

Before long, she was the favorite babysitter of our neighborhood (as her elder sister had once been). And through it all she was her younger brother’s favorite playmate, and his primary translator (he’s speech-delayed).

This past year she began driving, and started her first and second jobs, both in the tourist town in which we now live. She’s working on her second novel, and is thinking she may go to college to major in criminal justice, but not right away. She’d like a year off first.

She’s a joy to live with: generous, loving and kind. She’s not as eager to live on her own as our eldest was, and for that I’m grateful, because we’re really not ready to let her go yet.

So this year will be her last as a homeschooler. I will miss “doing school” with her. Over the past few years, we’ve slowly weaned ourselves off of our daily work together by increasing her independent work. Ideally, that should make it easier for me to let go. But it’s still going to be hard, come May.

(Originally posted 1/2/09. Our daughter did end up going to college and earned an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice. She worked for a couple of different local law enforcement agencies before deciding it wasn’t for her. She now works as a nanny, runs her own sewing business, and is married to a young man she met in college who was also homeschooled. And she is still a joy to be around  🙂   .)