On the eve of my five children all heading to school for the first time, I’m sitting in my bedroom, reflecting and smiling and crying just a bit.
This morning was the last morning my kids woke up as “homeschoolers.” I didn’t think about it as we went to bed last night–that today marked the end of an era in our home. But now, as my kids are excitedly (and nervously) getting ready to go to bed with the anticipation of heading to school tomorrow, I am thrilled for them, but selfishly mourning.
It’s been six years of time with our kids, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We did everything together: went to Costco, the dentist, the library. My kids sat with me in my many, many doctor appointments before and after my jaw surgery. We waited in tiny little patient rooms, all six of us crammed into the sterile fluorescent offices. We played “I Spy” and “20 Questions” and made up jokes. When most kids were in school, we were all in the emergency room together when my son needed stitches. My oldest son almost passed out from seeing the blood. He’s never been good with needles.
We cried together when we laid our sweet yellow Lab, Babe, to rest. We celebrated together when we picked up the newest member of our family, and we’ve spent the last four months investing countless hours with him; cuddling, potty training, playing and loving on him.
We spent many Thursday mornings praying for people who submitted prayer requests through my blog for Prayer Warrior Wednesday. We learned the books of the Bible together, did crafts, studied hard and went on as many field trips as we could.
Even though the counseling I went through didn’t involve my kids, I would come home and share bits and pieces of what I had learned. We would often delay starting school so that I could tell them what I was working on that week. I would ask them for prayer, and ask how I could be praying for them.
There were thousands of broken pencils, worn-out erasers, empty ink cartridges, and there just never seemed to be enough lined paper. There were days when I woke up, wondering how I would get through another day of homeschooling, and other days when I woke up so excited for our day together.
There was cooking together, unit studies together, and the joy of seeing each of them grasp new concepts.
But more than anything else, there was time.
So, so much time. When you’re in the thick of homeschooling, sometimes you just. want. a. break. But even on the days when I wanted to pull my hair out, I knew I was giving it my all. I doubted myself, for sure. So many times I thought to myself, gosh, I hope I don’t screw these kids up.
But I always knew tomorrow was a new day. And there always seemed to be more time. And suddenly, there isn’t anymore time.
Of course, this isn’t the end. My kids aren’t moving out. But I kind of feel like they are. Gone are the days of breakfast, lunch and dinner together. Gone are lazy rainy days and pancakes on Wednesday morning and school being done at noon. Gone are morning devotions with bunny trails (of course, we can still do devotions, but now we’ll have a time constraint) and daytime service projects and field trips as a family.
There’s a lot that’s gone. But there’s also a lot that’s coming. And you can read why we stopped homeschooling HERE.